The maker of Poligrip denture cream will stop making formulas containing zinc amid lawsuits claiming years of excessive use caused neurological damage and blood problems in consumers, allegedly crippling some.
GlaxoSmithKline will stop making and marketing Super Poligrip Original, Ultra Fresh and Extra Care products in the U.S. The company plans to reformulate the creams without zinc.
Glaxo’s voluntary action comes as hundreds of lawsuits are poised to go to trial, alleging Poligrip caused nerve damage, leading to a loss of balance, loss of sensation in the hands and feet, and leaving some patients paralyzed.
There are currently 75 denture cream cases consolidated before Miami U.S. District Judge Altonaga, who will decide whether to choose a few for trial that would act as bellwethers for the rest.
One of the lawsuit plaintiffs, 62-year-old Ronald Beaver of Tamarac, Fla., used PoliGrip for years before he began feeling weak and developed a blood disorder four years ago. He’s now able to work only two days a week at his moving company job and feels ”run down” much of the time.
Lawyers suing Glaxo said the company’s decision will put pressure on other makers of zinc-containing denture cream, most notably Procter & Gamble, which makes Fixodent.
Federal health experts recommend 8 milligrams of zinc per day for women and 11 milligrams for men. The right amount of zinc helps the body fight off illnesses and also promotes cell growth.
Poligrip contains 38 milligrams of zinc per ounce.
Denture creams containing zinc were first approved by the FDA more than 15 years ago, and the agency has never issued a safety warning on the products, according to industry group Consumer Healthcare Products Association.
Zinc is believed to help with adhesion. But in 2008 researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas described a possible link between denture cream zinc and nerve damage.
The researchers noted that excessive zinc can purge the body of copper, a chemical needed for normal brain and nervous system function.
A copper deficiency can cause anemia, as well as weakness and numbness in arms and legs; difficulty walking and loss of balance; and eventually permanent paralysis.
Glaxo and P&G only began disclosing the zinc in their products after the University of Texas’ findings were published in a medical journal.
If you or a family member has been personally injured because of the fault of someone else: by the use of dangerous and defective drugs, bad products, or toxic injury etc then please contact the Fort Worth Texas Dental Cream Personal Injury Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 888-210-9693 or Contact Me Online.
The Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm is currently evaluating and accepting Poligrip denture cream cases.