February 18, 2010
Dear Dental Professional:
Since there is much news coverage about today's GlaxoSmithKline announcement, we wanted to make you aware of this news, as it may result in questions from your patients, your colleagues or members of the media in your area.
According to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, this action affects three Poligrip products: Super Poligrip Original, Ultra Fresh and Extra Care. GlaxoSmithKline says it will remove zinc from its denture cream, following reports that excessive use has caused neurological damage and blood problems in consumers.
The company said it plans to reformulate the product without zinc, and that the words "Zinc Free" will appear on the new packaging. In a consumer advisory on its Web site, 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." To download a copy of the complete advisory, please click here (168kb PDF).
Glaxo's voluntary action follows dozens of lawsuits filed against the company alleging Poligrip caused nerve damage, resulting in symptoms such as weakness and numbness, as well as blood problems like anemia. The company says its products are safe when used as directed, but some consumers use the cream excessively to help make their dentures fit.