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News / February 24, 2010

GSK issues denture adhesives zinc warning

by Guy Hiscott

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare is warning consumers about the potential health risks associated with long-term excessive use of the zinc-containing denture adhesives, Poligrip Ultra cream and Polident Ultra cream.

GSK has taken voluntary, precautionary action to end the manufacture and supply of its zinc-containing denture adhesives marketed across many countries.

GSK is taking these actions because the company has become aware of potential health problems associated with the long-term excessive use of its zinc-containing denture adhesive products.

In 2009 GSK received an increased number of adverse event reports. Together with published literature, these suggest that excessive use of these products, typically for several years, may lead to the development of high levels of zinc in the body which are associated with neurological symptoms, such as numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms and legs, difficulties with walking and balance and blood problems such as anaemia. These reports are very rare, given that several million people are users of the products.

It is important for consumers to know that these products remain safe to use as directed on the product label. According to GSK, a small amount of adhesive is swallowed during normal use and this is not harmful.  However, some consumers apply more adhesive than directed and use it more than once per day, usually due to ill-fitting dentures.

GSK will transition to zinc-free versions of all affected variants. Zinc Free will be clearly shown on the new packaging.

Consumers with questions may call GSK at 1800 646 656.