Popular Cold Medicine Removed From Store Shelves

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(FeaturedNews.com) – CVS announced its decision to proactively withdraw specific over-the-counter cough and cold medications from its shelves following recent findings by an FDA advisory panel questioning the efficacy of a key ingredient.

The pharmacy chain is in the process of removing selections of oral cough and cold remedies containing only phenylephrine as the active component. Despite this, CVS ensures that alternative medications remain available to consumers.

The decision was influenced by the FDA Advisory Committee’s recent conclusions regarding oral phenylephrine’s effectiveness. In response, CVS is committed to adhering to FDA guidance to maintain compliance with all relevant rules and standards, a company representative affirmed.

This development emerged shortly after the FDA’s Nonprescription Drugs Advisory Committee unanimously expressed doubts about the effectiveness of oral phenylephrine in relieving nasal stuffiness, a common ingredient in well-known brands like Sudafed, Mucinex, Vicks, Allegra, and Dayquil.

It’s important to note that the committee, whose role is to offer independent guidance to the FDA, did not question the safety of the recommended dosages of oral phenylephrine. The FDA will ultimately decide on the matter.

Despite the absence of a formal FDA ruling on the ingredient’s effectiveness, CVS opted for a preemptive removal of these products.

Meanwhile, a representative from Walgreens communicated to FOX Business their vigilance regarding the issue, emphasizing their collaboration with internal clinical standards teams and suppliers to determine the best course of action. Rite Aid, however, has yet to provide a response to inquiries for comment.

Post-discussion, the FDA reminded consumers through a notice that effective remedies are available for symptoms beyond congestion, with the committee’s advice specifically pertaining to oral phenylephrine, excluding its nasal spray variant.

It’s notable that while some medications feature phenylephrine solely, others combine it with active ingredients like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to address symptoms such as headaches or body aches, with no interference in their effectiveness, as per an FDA announcement in September.

The FDA emphasized the importance of consumers being vigilant with medication labels to understand the specific components, warnings, and usage instructions, considering the diversity of products sold under identical brand names.

Should the FDA, after an extensive review and public participation, conclude the inefficacy of oral phenylephrine, it pledged to collaborate with drug manufacturers to adjust formulations as necessary, ensuring the continued availability of reliable and effective treatments for cold or allergy symptoms.

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