Poligrip Fixodent – Zinc Poisoning
Written by Andrew Sarski on March 1, 2011
What is Zinc Poisoning?
Although zinc is an essential part of a healthy diet, excessive zinc exposure can lead to a number of serious complications, including loss of sensation, unexplained weakness, numbness, and other nerve-related symptoms. Exposure to large amounts of zinc can also cause irritation of the intestines, resulting in other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Zinc poisoning, also known as hyperzincemia, is exceptionally dangerous because it can cause the body to purge itself of copper, which may result in nerve damage and severe neurological disorders. If left untreated, zinc poisoning can result in severe physical disability and even death.
Poligrip and Fixodent Zinc Poisoning Connection
Although the dangers of excessive exposure to zinc have been apparent for a long period of time, the potential for zinc-containing denture adhesives to cause neurological disease wasn’t discovered until the Journal of Neurology published a groundbreaking study regarding this possibility in 2008. According to this study, the zinc in denture creams like Poligrip and Fixodent may cause zinc poisoning, copper depletion (called hypocupremia) and debilitating neurological disorders. Prior to the release of this study, zinc poisoning was commonly misdiagnosed, leading to inadequate treatment and increasingly worsening conditions. If consumers are unaware that by using their denture cream they may be exposing themselves to potentially deadly amounts of zinc, use of the product may continue and may result in fatality.
Experts believe that the zinc contained in denture creams like Fixodent and Poligrip may seep into the system through the gums or may be swallowed accidentally, causing increased levels of zinc and decreased levels of copper in the body. According to the study published in the Journal of Neurology, four individuals included in the study who were exposed to large amounts of zinc-containing denture creams suffered neurological symptoms typical of zinc poisoning. Based on their long-term use of denture adhesives, these individuals were exposed to at least 330 mg of of zinc daily. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the largest tolerable consumption of zinc is 40 mg per day.
Had Poligrip and Fixodent manufacturers warned consumers of the potential dangers which may be associated with zinc exposure from denture creams, instances of zinc poisoning may have been avoided. Unfortunately, because the FDA doesn’t require class I medical devices like Fixodent and Poligrip to carry a warning label, consumers were largely uninformed of the potentially harmful nature of the products. Despite several claims made by GlaxoSmithKline that Poligrip was a safe and effective product, the company announced in 2010 their plans to stop manufacturing several of their denture adhesive products and to remove the potentially dangerous ingredient, zinc, from future denture cream products. Proctor & Gamble, however, maintain that their zinc-containing product, Fixodent, is safe for normal consumer use.
Poligrip and Fixodent Zinc Poisoning Legal Help
The alleged side effects of Poligrip and Fixodent use, including zinc poisoning, have the potential to expose consumers to life-altering complications, including nerve damage and other major neurological disorders. Victims of serious injury potentially linked to the use of denture adhesives like Fixodent and Poligrip are not at fault and may be entitled to reimbursement for their injuries and any expenses related to the treatment of their injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered from zinc poisoning and you believe Poligrip or Fixodent to be the cause, contact a defective product attorney as soon as possible. You may benefit from filing a defective product lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline or Proctor & Gamble and a qualified defective product lawyer will inform you of your legal options. With the help of an experienced defective product attorney, victims of defective product injuries can collect the compensation they deserve.