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Zinc in Poligrip, Fixodent Could Cause Neurologic Health Problems

Aug 31, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
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Denture creams, like Poligrip and Fixodent, have been associated with a variety of neurologic health problems.  According to recent research, the zinc used in these denture creams appears to be behind many such ailments.

A small amount of zinc is necessary for a balanced diet.   However, exposure to too much zinc can lead to copper depletion.   When this is severe, neurological problems can result. In August 2008, the peer reviewed journal, “Neurology” reported on four patients suffering from neuropathy and other neurological symptoms typical of zinc poisoning and copper depletion. It was determined that excess use of denture cream could have been responsible for their symptoms.

The symptoms of denture cream zinc poisoning include:

•    numbness or tingling in the feet, legs, hands, and/or arms;
•    a reduction in strength or ability to move legs or feet, or arms and hands;
•    unexplained pain in the extremities;
•    a tendency to stumble or fall down; instability and lack of balance;
•    change or decrease in walking stride;
•    abnormal blood pressure and heart rate;
•    reduced ability to perspire;
•    constipation and/or bladder dysfunction;
•    sexual dysfunction.

If you use denture cream, and suffer any of these problems, it is important that you undergo blood tests to determine zinc and copper levels.  This especially important because denture cream zinc poisoning can mimic many other disorders, such as Multiple Sclerosis, and is often misdiagnosed.

Several lawsuits have been filed against the makers of Poligrip and Fixodent by people who claim to have been sickened by the zinc in these products, and it is expected that many more will be filed in the coming months.  Earlier this summer, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued a transfer order consolidating all such federal lawsuits in the Southern District of Florida.

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