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GlaxoSmithKline removes zinc

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GlaxoSmithKline removes zinc
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GlaxoSmithKline removes zinc from denture creams
by Daniel Zimmermann, DTI

LEIPZIG, Germany: Owing to consumer reports alleging neurological complications with long-term use, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced that zinc will be removed from its denture cream brands worldwide. The British manufacturer also warned consumers of the potential health risks associated with long-term, excessive use of zinc-containing denture adhesives but said that these products remain safe to use as directed on the product label.

Zinc was originally added to denture adhesives to improve adhesive strength. Recent studies, however, have demonstrated that excess amounts of the metal can accumulate over time, resulting in paralysis of some patients. Health experts recommend 8 milligrams of zinc per day for women and 11 milligrams for men. Denture creams contain up to 38 milligrams of zinc per gram.

Dr Howard Marsh, Chief Medical Officer at GSK Consumer Healthcare, commented, “The safety of our consumers is our primary concern. We are taking this action because we have become aware of potential health problems associated with the long-term, excessive use of our zinc-containing denture adhesive products. These reports are rare, given that several million people worldwide are users of the products.”

He said that patients who use denture creams on a daily basis should consult their doctor and switch to a zinc-free alternative. The use of too much adhesive might indicate ill-fitting dentures.

GSK will effect transition to zinc-free versions of all affected variants worldwide up to April this year. The label zinc-free will be clearly displayed on the new packaging, the company told Dental Tribune Online.


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