Denture Cream With Zinc Latest Unsafe Product to Leave the Market

From the Wall St Journal

GlaxoSmithKline PLC Thursday warned consumers about denture creams that contain zinc and said it had taken "voluntary, precautionary" measures to stop making and supplying those products, which it said have been linked with health problems if used excessively over a long period.

"We are taking these actions because we have become aware of potential health problems associated with the long-term excessive use of our zinc-containing denture adhesive products," the company said on its Web site.

Glaxo denture-cream products that contain zinc include Super PoliGrip Original, Ultra Fresh and Extra Care products. The company said it will reformulate the denture adhesives

There has been a succession of stories recently about people getting dreadful diseases from use of popular denture creams and Glaxo is probably feeling the liability heat.

Plaintiff's attorneys have been filing lawsuits and trying to call attention to the dangers as this story from the St Petersberg Times shows:

Denture adhesive manufacturers “didn’t tell anybody the right amounts to use. They didn’t warn people that if they didn’t use the right amounts that they could be crippled,” said attorney Ed Blizzard, who filed a suit in Miami in December against GlaxoSmithKline on behalf of the family of Rodney Urbanek.

Urbanek, a longtime Super Poligrip user, started having trouble walking in late 2006, according to his wife, Gisela. Eventually he became paralyzed below the waist and died in May 2008 at age 64 in a hospital in South Carolina, where the couple moved after living in Miami for many years. Blizzard said an autopsy showed Urbanek’s paralysis and death were linked to his use of denture adhesive.

Blizzard has launched a web site called Denture Cream Justice to advise those who fear they have been harmed by zinc in their denture cream. He blogged about the dangers of denture cream at Huffington Post:

Now, Americans have yet another product to be wary of:  denture adhesive.  As strange as it sounds, dozens of consumers have been left permanently disabled by this seemingly innocuous product.  The makers of popular brands of denture cream, Poligrip and Fixodent, have been adding zinc to their denture cream product for years – and not just trace amounts.   In fact, Poligrip denture cream contains more than four times the recommended daily dose in each gram of the adhesive.

Consumed in large quantities over extended periods of time, zinc can cause serious neurological problems, including a condition known as neuropathy.  The American Academy of Neurology published a study in October 2008documenting the medical link between denture cream and neurological disease.  This condition, which generally manifests itself through a loss of sensation or tingling in the hands and feet, is progressive and often extremely debilitating.  More information on the disturbing symptoms of denture cream zinc poisoning is available online at

Disclosure: I advise Blizzard, McCarthy & Nabers as part of the WebStrong Group.

Tags: glaxo smith kline, fixodent, poligrip, FDA, lawsuits (all tags)


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