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Phenylpropanolamine Exposure and Subsequent Hospitalization

Pamela Aselton, RN, MS; Hershel Jick, MD; Judith R. Hunter
JAMA. 1985;253(7):977. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350310059010.
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To the Editor.—  We have reviewed the experience of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound relative to the use of cough and cold preparations containing phenylpropanolamine hydrochloride and the subsequent need for hospitalization for malignant hypertension (International Classification of Diseases, eighth revision, 400.0, 438.3), arrhythmia (416.0-416.9), neuropsychiatric illness (300.1-300.9, 303.0-303.9, 309.1-309.9, 306.4, 306.5, 306.8, 306.9, 308.8, 308.9, 310.9, 311.5, 311.9, 318.9, and 345.1-345.9), and nonhemorrhagic stroke (433.0, 433.1, and 436.0-436.9). From 1977 through 1982, there were 253,334 prescriptions filled for phenylpropanolamine-containing products at local Group Health Cooperative pharmacies for members younger than 65 years. Assuming that each person filling a prescription for a phenylpropanolamine-containing preparation was at risk for one of the disorders studied for 30 days after the prescription was filled, this experience represents 7,600,020 person-days at risk for hospitalization among phenylpropanolamine users. Taking the whole population of Group Health Cooperative younger than 65 years (person-years), multiplying by 365,


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