Experts reviewing potential rare brain side effect of popular nasal decongestants

todayFebruary 24, 2023

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Health experts are investigating a potential rare but serious side effect of nasal decongestants containing pseudoephedrine, which can cause vessels supplying the brain to contract or spasm, reducing blood flow and potentially leading to seizures or stroke. The review was initiated after regulators in France alerted the European drugs regulator, the EMA, about some recent, rare cases of brain blood vessel conditions. The UK-wide review will focus on posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) and reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS). While drug regulators stress that the likelihood of this happening is extremely low, they advise anyone with concerns to speak to a doctor or pharmacist. Products already include warnings about the rare risks on patient information leaflets, as well as more common side effects such as headache and dizziness. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) runs the Yellow Card scheme, where people can report any suspected side effects from medicines. The MHRA has received a very small number of recent reports about PRES and RCVS. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) said that medicines containing pseudoephedrine were carefully assessed before being made available to the public, and urged patients to await the outcome of the EMA and MHRA reviews.

Written by: Relaks Radio

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