Poligrip and Fixodent
Written by Andrew Sarski on March 1, 2011
Most people consume the daily recommended amount of zinc through their natural diet, and some people may even take zinc supplements to increase their daily zinc consumption. However, excessive exposure to zinc, usually defined as consumption of more than ten times the daily recommended amount, can result in unexplained weakness, loss of sensation, numbness, and other nerve-related symptoms. Zinc poisoning, also known as hyperzincemia, can cause a copper deficiency, also known as hypocupremia, and may even lead to physical disability, requiring some victims to be confined to a wheelchair.
Poligrip and Fixodent Neuropathy
Severe zinc poisoning can lead to a debilitating neurological disease called neuropathy. Symptoms of neuropathy vary on a case by case basis depending on which nerves are affected and where they are located in the body, but typically include:
- Numbness or tingling in the feet, hands, legs or arms
- Reduced strength or ability to move legs and feet, or arms and hands
- Unexplained pain in the extremities
- Instability and lack of balance
- A change or decrease in walking stride
If neuropathy goes untreated, it can lead to permanent loss of nerve function, and irreversible muscle atrophy and tissue damage. This condition can cause chronic pain which may significantly decrease the victim’s quality of life, cause depression, and may interfere with an individual’s ability to perform simple daily tasks.
Poligrip and Fixodent Side Effects
Zinc is typically not dangerous when consumed in moderate amounts. In fact, a small amount of zinc is essential for a balanced diet. However, exposure to excessive amounts of zinc can result in zinc poisoning, copper depletion, and significant adverse neurological effects. While this danger has been documented for years, it wasn’t until a groundbreaking 2008 Journal of Neurology study suggested that the zinc in denture adhesives may cause the body to purge itself of copper, leading to nerve damage, that these denture adhesives were classified as a potential cause of neurological disease.
According to past statements made by GlaxoSmithKline and Proctor & Gamble, Poligrip and Fixodent are made, packaged and labeled according to FDA manufacturing practices. Unfortunately, this may not be enough, since the FDA does not require denture cream manufacturers to list the amount of zinc contained in their products. According to the researchers who conducted the 2008 Journal of Neurology study, the neuropathy and other neurological symptoms suffered by the four individuals included in the study could have been the result of long-term exposure to large amounts of zinc in the denture cream. Based on their usage, these individuals were exposed to at least 330 mg of zinc daily, far more than the recommended daily allowance of 8 mg for women and 11 mg for men. In fact, according to the National Academy of Sciences, the largest daily tolerable intake of zinc is 40 mg.
A Poligrip and Fixodent Injury Attorney Can Help
Two of the most popular types of denture adhesives are Poligrip and Fixodent, which have been used by millions of people in the United States alone. The FDA has classified denture adhesives like Poligrip and Fixodent as a low-risk, or class I medical devices, which means the products do not require a warning label. Unfortunately, this leaves consumers unknowingly vulnerable to potentially life-altering side effects, including zinc poisoning and neuropathy. Victims of serious injury allegedly associated with the use of denture adhesives like Poligrip and Fixodent are not at fault and may be entitled to reimbursement for their injuries. The only way for victims to protect their rights is to hire a defective product attorney to represent their case.
Several lawsuits have already been filed against GlaxoSmithKline and Proctor & Gamble, and a number of potential Poligrip and Fixodent lawsuits are pending throughout the United States. These lawsuits allege that the companies responsible for manufacturing these products misled consumers about the potential adverse side effects associated with Poligrip and Fixodent, and failed to provide consumers with adequate warnings and instructions regarding the products. If you or a loved one has suffered from zinc poisoning or neuropathy and you believe the denture creams Poligrip or Fixodent to be the cause, contact a defective product lawyer as soon as possible. Defective product attorneys are experienced in defective product litigation and have the knowledge necessary to help you collect the compensation you deserve.