Sunday, July 5th, 2015

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Sinutab is Dangerous To Your Health, So Why Do They Still Sell It in the Philippines?



At some point, if you are living or even just visiting in the Philippines, you will most likely find yourself buying some kind of medicine over the counter at one of the millions of pharmacies located in every mall and on just about every street corner (they are more numerous than McDonalds restaurants). Maybe you have a cold, a fever, a runny or stuffy nose. You will realize the medicines they sell in the Philippines are different than the ones in your home country. They don’t have Tylenol, they have Biogesic or Alaxan, they don’t sell Sudafed or Dimetapp, they have instead Sinutab and Neozip. (I don’t know the names of medicines in European countries so I am just using the American names here.)

(Update: Tylenol and Dimetapp ARE sold in the Philippines but they are more expensive and not nearly as popular as they are in the U.S. The more popular brands in the Philippines are Biogesic (paracetamol), Medicol (ibuprofen), and Neozip (decongestant and paracetamol).)

If you do have a cold, and you need to buy a decongestant, you should be aware of something. Sinutab, a very popular over-the-counter decongestant here in the Philippines, which is sold just about everywhere…has actually been withdrawn from the market in Canada and forbidden without a doctor’s prescription in the U.S. and other countries due to the fact that it causes stroke.

From Wikipedia, : “A scientific study found an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke in women who used PPA” (PPA is short for Phenylpropanolamine) and “In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory against the use of the drug in November 2000. In this advisory, the FDA requested that all drug companies discontinue marketing products containing PPA. The agency estimates that PPA caused between 200 and 500 strokes per year among 18-to-49-year-old users.”

I mentioned this to many of my Filipino friends and they had absolutely no idea that Sinutab was dangerous. Not only is it still sold over-the-counter at every pharmacy but it’s still advertised, and actually is known for one of the “best Philippines commercials” starring RJ Rosales imitating Tom Cruise in the ‘Minority Report’ movie.

My suggestion is to stay away from it. Instead, if you have a cold, use Neozip, it contains Phenylephrine, not Phenylpropanolamine.

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23 Responses to “Sinutab is Dangerous To Your Health, So Why Do They Still Sell It in the Philippines?”
  1. dave bennett says:

    Wow thanks for posting this. MY wife had a cold and took it and it gave her heart palpitations! She has stopped.

  2. Michael Holm says:

    I think the biggest problem with medicines in the Philippines is that it is useually sold piece by piece and put in an envelope or zipper bag. That means you dont see the box and has no chance of checking what is the active ingredient in the drug.

    • Cody says:

      Hi Michael,
      I don’t agree that is much of a problem, all the boxes are at the pharmacy, you can just ask to look at the box at the pharmacy when you buy it.

  3. Sampaul says:

    Is this true? i just munched 2 sinutab capsule during the past 6 hours. :-/

  4. Desiree says:

    Thank you for the information. Very much helpful :)

  5. Auma says:

    thanks for this. I was even planning a while ago to buy it after work.

  6. Budz says:

    As of now, Tuseran Forte has Phenylephrine instead of Phenylpropanolamine.

    I do not know when the formulation was changed but it sure doesn’t have PPA.

    • Cody says:

      Thank you for this info, unfortunately, Sinutab is still available and still using PPA (phenylpropanolamine), they have not changed their formula.

  7. marie says:

    I just want to correct the name of the medicine from “Neozip” to “Neozep” or known as Coldzep at the generic drugstores.

  8. Rex says:

    Thanks for the information, I’ve been suffering from my sinusitis and I ask my wife to buy me sinutab but didn’t know the difference between drowse and non-drowse. So she searched the internet and she found this. Anybody here in the phil can buy that drugs w/o prescription from doctors or even health warning. So instead of buying sinutab I told her to buy neozep. Thanks for the info and hope to find more like this.

  9. paz says:

    I took one last nite and noticed the palpitation. Today, I took one about 2-3 hours ago, and can feel the palpitation now. I’m glad i opened this site when I only took 2 capsules, i actually bought 3 caps last nite. Whew!

  10. She says:

    Wow, just had 1 a few minutes ago, late to read about it, anyway next time I’ll buy ——- instead of sinutab, tnx for the info

  11. Sai says:

    Hi! Thanks for this info. I just took Sinutab last night since I am suffering colds and stuffy nose due to flu. I had no idea this is very dangerous.. No wonder why when I woke up this morning, I felt dizzy, nauseous and feel like throwing up.

    • Cody says:

      Your welcome, but most likely your dizziness and nasuea are from your illness.
      Dangers of PPA are stated: “A scientific study found an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke in women who used PPA (Phenylpropanolamine).”

  12. lynda says:

    Interesting. I’ve used Sinutab for years and sometimes it is the only effective drug. But…I haven’t seen it in the stores in the USA for years and now I know why. While in England in June I happened to see it in the pharmacy so I bought a box. I just looked at the box and PPA is not listed, only paracetamol and Pseudoephedrine. I hope this one is OK because it really works.

  13. asking says:

    so instead of buying sinutab, what can you recommend other than that.?

  14. Harry says:

    There is Tylenol and dimetapp in the Philippines….

    • Cody says:

      Yes, you’re correct about that, I have been lazy to update this post. (just updated it now)
      It’s true that Tylenol and Dimetapp are sold in the Philippines, however, they are not nearly as popular as they are in the United States. Maybe that’s because they are more expensive than the more popular brands, like Biogesic (paracetamol), Medicol (ibuprofen), and Neozip (decongestant and paracetamol).

  15. Louiw says:

    Sinutab was much help than neozep, i took neozep an hour ago but untill now i cant feel the effect, i usually take sinutab and it takes effect after 10-15 minutes. Should i take 2 tablets of neozep in case,??? Or maybe 3? Isnt it harmful when i take that much?

  16. bj drawh says:

    SINUTAB ,was on of the key o t c drugs that could be used to make meth ,that one reason states ban it or made u get a per, 2 get it

  17. Ernie says:

    Thanks for the information, I took a few of these recently, sure glad i read this page, still had about 10 pieces, they’re in the stool now.

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