Proctor & Gamble has recently added a information to their denture cream website about the potential risk of problems from zinc in Fixodent, advising users to apply as little of the adhesive as possible. However, the company has given no indication that they will issue a Fixodent recall or reformulate their products to remove zinc, as GlaxoSmithKline recently did with their Super Poligrip denture creams.
The warning follows months of scrutiny and calls for the two manufacturers to take action to address the side effects of zinc in Fixodent and Super Poligrip denture cream. For years the products were sold with no warnings or even indication that they contained zinc.
When the products are used over a long period of time, or if too much of the denture cream is applied, high levels of zinc can enter the body. This can deplete copper levels and lead to the development of neuropathy and other neurological injuries.
A number of Fixodent lawsuits and Super Poligrip lawsuits have been filed against Proctor & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline, alleging that users suffered permanent and disabling problems as a result of the manufacturers’ failure to warn that their denture cream products contained zinc and that use of adhesives could cause zinc poisoning.
In October 2009, GlaxoSmithKline finally added a zinc warning to Super Poligrip, indicating that use of excessive amounts of the adhesive could cause “serious health effects” and last month the company indicated it would discontinue Super Poligrip with zinc in the United States due to the risk of zinc poisoning.
Although the same risk of zinc problems with Fixodent exist, Proctor & Gamble has resisted placing any warnings on their product, claiming that Fixodent does not have as much zinc as Super Poligrip and is safe for use. However, according to a report by NewsInferno.com, new information was added in recent days to Proctor & Gamble’s Fixodent website, DentureLiving.com, warning that zinc is contained in the product and highlighting usage instructions.
The new Fixodent warning reads: “CAUTION: Contains zinc (less than 4%). Some reports suggest that excessive and prolonged zinc intake may be linked to adverse health effects.” The warning recommends that Fixodent be used as directed and that consumers should consult with their doctors if they are using other zinc-based products. It is unclear whether a similar warning and usage instructions will added to Fixodent products themselves.