ad info


Asiaweek TIMEASIA.com CNN.com
 > magazine
 home
 intelligence
 web features
 magazine archive
 technology
 newsmap
 customer service
 subscribe
 TIMEASIA.COM
 CNN.COM
  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia
  australasia
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 SHOWBIZ
 ASIA WEATHER
 ASIA TRAVEL

Other News
TIME.com
TIME Europe
FORTUNE.com
FORTUNE China
MONEY.com
Asiaweek Services
Contact Asiaweek
About Asiaweek
Media Kit
Get up to 3 months of Asiaweek free when you subscribe online!


NOVEMBER 3, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 43 | SEARCH ASIAWEEK


Asiaweek Pictures.
Some cough and cold meditations contain PPA, a chemical suspected of raising the risk of strokes.

Risk From Cold Cures
Popular decongestant linked to strokes
By WILLIAM LAI

Bad case of the sniffles? No one thinks twice about reaching out for cough mixtures and cold remedies. But it may be time to take a closer look at the list of active ingredients the next time you pick up a box of medication from the local pharmacy. A five-year study conducted by Yale University in the United States has linked a commonly used decongestant to higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke, or bleeding in the brain. The disputed chemical called phenylpropanolamine, or PPA, is also found in some appetite suppressants.

Researchers at Yale's medical school studied more than 2,000 people, including 702 who were hospitalized due to a stroke, and whether they had PPA within the previous three days. According to the findings, patients who took the chemical in cold medication were 1.23 times more likely than control subjects to have a stroke. Those who took diet treatments containing PPA faced even higher chances of getting an attack.

These results have prompted an expert panel of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to urge that the drug be classed as "unsafe." The agency is now considering a final decision on the experts' warning. Ironically, the Yale study was funded by a drug industry group, which is now attacking the findings. U.S. drug regulators have been keeping an eye on PPA, which is found in many over-the-counter remedies in the country, for over a decade because of stroke suspicions.

In Hong Kong, PPA medications are sold through pharmacists and doctors' clinics. According to a health department spokesperson, about 20 of more than 100 prescription cough and cold remedies contain the suspect chemical. But until there is more conclusive data, he says, "consumers can express their concerns to doctors and pharmacists if they want to avoid PPA." Remedies containing the chemical available in Hong Kong include Antiflu Forte, Coritab, Dime-Time, Dimetapp, Febricol, Neozep, Robitussin CF, Sinutab, Tripe 'P' Cough Syrup and Uni-vasin

Dr. Lawrence Wong Ka-sing, an associate professor of neurology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, believes consumers need not be too concerned about the decongestant. "It is much more important to control high blood pressure," he says. But physicians such as Dr. Ray Woosley, pharmacology chairman at Georgetown University in Washington, call for caution. Why take the risk when there are safer alternatives, he asks. Good question.

In Brief
Pungent Protection Count Dracula was no fan of garlic, but lovers of good food are. And so are those who look after their health. The pungent bulb is said to deliver many benefits, including cleaner blood. Now specialists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill report that garlic can protect against stomach and colon cancer.

Dr. Lenore Arab and his colleagues evaluated 18 studies that looked at garlic eaters. They found the results suggest that high consumption of raw or cooked garlic decreases the risk of colorectal cancer by 10% to 50%, and lowers the risk of developing stomach cancer by 50%. Garlic supplements had a less significant impact. How much garlic is enough? The average intake among the biggest fans was about six cloves a week.

Back to the top

Write to Asiaweek at mail@web.asiaweek.com

This edition's table of contents | Asiaweek.com Home

AsiaNow


Quick Scroll: More stories from Asiaweek, TIME and CNN

   LATEST HEADLINES:

WASHINGTON
U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

MANILA
Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

ALLAHABAD
Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

COLOMBO
Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

TOKYO
Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

BANGKOK
Thai party announces first coalition partner



TIME:

COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state



ASIAWEEK:

COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness


Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN
 Search
  ASIAWEEK'S LATEST
Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?


  THIS EDITION
COVER: Cronies: Why Asia's battle against cronyism is taking forever
Connections: Li Ka-shing has got them
Fall: Suharto's buddies are fighting their way back
Fighter: Sabri Zain on the new Malaysia
Reformers: Crusaders wage war against corruption
Cronyism in Asia: A primer

THE NATIONS
JAPAN: A housewife's win means politics will never be the same

DIPLOMACY: Why the U.S. was at Kim Jong Il's coming-out party

UNITED STATES: Where Gore and Bush stand on Asian issues

PHILIPPINES: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo rallies the opposition

MALAYSIA: Post reformasi, NGOs push for change

SINGAPORE: Living with Shame — the island-state lightens up

INSIDE STORY
Timor: Despite the dangers, refugees begin the long trek home

TECHNOLOGY
Faded Beauty: Getting nervous about 3G network costs

Please Hold: Firms turn to computers to serve customers better

Best Bettor: Winning at the track just takes the right software

Cutting edge: Snoop-proof and wire-free

ARTS & SCIENCE
Cinema: Digital drive: a boost for Asia's young movie-makers

People: Wiranto croons the wrong note with Indonesian activists

Health: A cold cure that could kill


BUSINESS
Markets: How to survive the roller coaster

Insurance: Who'll be left standing in Japan?

Investing: Biotechnology may be the next dotcom

Renong: Can Halim Saad save his troubled company?

Interview: Hong Kong's monetary chief: no new Crisis


STATISTICS
The Bottom Line: Asiaweek's ranking of world economies

Back to the top   © 2000 Asiaweek. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.