These anti-cold medications are vasoconstrictors which use the pseudophedrine molecule and although their effects are almost immediate and radical to relieve a blocked nose, they can also cause risks. . The principle of these tablets is to reduce the size of the blood vessels, which has the effect of decongesting the nose and sinuses by deflating the mucous membranes. But this retraction of the vessels is not targeted and can occur anywhere in the body, including near the heart. "This tightening can cause total obstruction and result in a stroke or a heart attack" warns Doctor Gilles Munier, vice-president of the National Council of the Order of Physicians, to the Parisien.
"The risk is very low but these events can occur regardless of the dose and duration of treatment" specifies the ANSM. Although the cases are rare, they continue to be observed each year: 307 serious cases have been reported. recorded between 2012 and 2018 according to the national pharmacology database. A ratio considered too high and risks considered too serious by the medicine policeman, to quickly treat a cold which It generally resolves on its own within 7 to 10 days. 10 days.
Are cold medicines prohibited?
The ANSM recommends against the use of these medications are accessible without a prescription at the pharmacy counter, as are the College of General Medicine, the National Professional ENT Council, the National Order of pharmacists and the main unions of community pharmacists. Consequently, at As of October 23, these vasoconstrictors will no longer be highlighted, sometimes not even visible, in pharmacies and pharmacists are invited to check them out. advise patients against seeking these cold remedies. Faced with the most persistent colds, the ANSM asks for precise information on the benefits and risks.
This is a new step in the process aimed at limit the use of anti-cold tablets. Many pharmacists are already calling back. the long list of contraindications such as hypertension, diabetes, history of stroke, convulsion, coronary insufficiency, hyperthyroidism, ocular glaucoma or even pregnancy. And advertising For these medications, it has been banned since 2017. Note that only anti-cold tablets are affected by these measures since the delivery of nasal sprays is already limited. supervised and can only be done on prescription from a doctor. Note that the use of vasoconstrictors has already been used. significantly decreased going from 16 million boxes sold in 2010 to 3 million in 2021, but "it's still too much" for Christelle Ratignier-Carbonneil.
But the scope of action of the drug policeman stops there, because only the European drug agency Medicine can express itself on the banning of medicines. The European Union undertook a re-evaluation of these vasoconstrictors at the start of 2023 and must deliver an opinion in February 2024.