Hundreds of medicines used to treat colds or flu are under review in Spain due to risk of brain diseases.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) put the medications containing pseudoephedrine under review last week.
About 30 are marketed in Spain, these include the well-known Termalgil, Gelocatil, Influenza with Pseudoephedrine, Frenadol Descongestivo or Cinfatos.
The agency’s safety committee targeted the products due to a risk of developing brain diseases such as posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome (PRES) and reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS), which affect blood vessels.
The conditions cause reduced blood supply to the brain and can cause serious and life-threatening complications in some cases.
The most common symptoms are headache, nausea and convulsions.
Pseudoephedrine is usually taken orally and is present in some of the most commonly sold brand names in pharmacies.
The EMA is currently deciding whether or not to maintain the marketing of these drugs, modify them or pull them from shelves.