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Glaxo to Stop Manufacture, Distribution and Advertising of Super PoliGrip Products with Zinc

Feb 18, 2010

Glaxo to Stop Manufacture, Distribution and Advertising of Super PoliGrip Products with Zinc

On February 18, 2010, GlaxoSmithKline announced it would voluntarily stop the manufacture, distribution and advertising of three Super PoliGrip denture cream products that contain zinc. GlaxoSmithKline said it had made the decision because recent publications suggest an excessive intake of zinc-containing denture adhesives, such as the Super PoliGrip products, over several years may lead to the development of neurological symptoms.

The Super PoliGrip products subject to this announcement include Super PoliGrip 'Original', 'Ultra Fresh' or 'Extra Care'. This action does not affect any zinc-free Super PoliGrip products, including Super PoliGrip 'Free,' Super PoliGrip 'Comfort Seal Strips', or Super PoliGrip 'Powder'. These products remain available to consumers.

In a statement posted on its Web site, Glaxo said it stopped the manufacture, distribution and advertising of the three zinc-containing Super PoliGrip products as a precautionary measure to minimize any potential risks to consumers. The company also said it had discussed the matter with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and no further action is necessary.

A small amount of zinc is necessary for a balanced diet. However, long-term excessive use of zinc-containing denture creams like the Super PoliGrip products can result in copper depletion and serious negative adverse neurological effects.

Excessive exposure to zinc in products like Super PoliGrip can cause, among other things, myeloneuropathy, a nervous system disorder that can be serious, with symptoms that include numbness or weakness in the limbs, poor balance and difficulty walking. Blood disorders, including a reduced numbers of red blood cells, which is called anemia, or reduced numbers of certain white blood cells, which can be called leucopenia or neutropenia, can also occur.

According to Glaxo's statement, consumers who have been using zinc-containing Super PoliGrip 'Original', 'Ultra Fresh' or 'Extra Care' for several years in greater amounts than directed on the package or more than once per day, or have concerns about their health, must:

  1. Stop using the product.
  2. Talk to their doctor.
  3. Use a zinc-free alternative.

Glaxo said it is currently in the process of reformulating Super PoliGrip 'Original', Super PoliGrip 'Ultra Fresh' and Super PoliGrip 'Extra Care' to non-zinc formulations. The new versions should be in stores by Mid April 2010.

Consumers with questions about this action can call Glaxo toll free at 1-866-640-1017.



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