FDA questions use of zinc in denture cream

By Dow Jones Newswires
Posted Feb. 28 at 1:19 p.m.

The Food and Drug Administration suggested manufacturers consider taking zinc out of denture cream, after reports of neurological problems that might be associated with zinc poisoning.

Zinc is a mineral naturally present in some foods, available as a dietary supplement and added to certain products. Zinc has been added to denture cream to boost its adhesive properties. The FDA said in a Feb. 23 letter sent to denture-adhesive manufacturers that it’s received “numerous reports of adverse events related to the use of denture creams” consistent with zinc toxicity.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC announced last year that it was removing zinc fromĀ  Poligrip and other denture adhesive products. At the time the company said it had “become aware of potential health problems associated with the long-term excessive use of our zinc-containing denture adhesive products.”

Questions about possible neurological damage from zinc poisoning have spurred dozens of suits against Glaxo and Procter & Gamble Co. , which makes Fixodent.

A P & G spokeswoman said: “We take the FDA’s issued letter very seriously,” adding that “providing safe products for consumers is our No. 1 priority.” The Fixodent label tells consumers that the product contains zinc and instructs consumers on how to use the product appropriately. For example, the label states that too much is being used if it oozes after dentures are inserted.

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