The Food and Drug Administration has banned 223 ingredients in over-the-counter drugs on grounds manufacturers have offered no proof they were effective for problems they were supposed to treat.
The ingredients range from pine tar in dandruff fighters to dehydrated garlic in digestive aids to aspirin in medications for external use.The FDA action Wednesday does not ban the ingredients entirely, just in certain uses. For example, aspirin may still be used in products for pain relief taken internally, because it has been shown to be effective pain reliever.
The over-the-counter drug industry said most of the ingredients already had been withdrawn, but some familiar drugstore and supermarket products will be affected.
For example, Tegrin Lotion, sold for use against psoriasis, may no longer contain allantoin. Also Packers shampoo and soap may not contain pine tar, and Donnagel, used to treat diarrhea, may no longer include atropine sulfate, hyoscyamine sulfate and scopolamine hydrobromide.
The ban becomes effective in six months. The agency said none of the ingredients posed a safety problem in any of the banned uses.
The ruling is part of an 18-year-long review of about 300,000 nonprescription products that were on the market when a new took effect in 1972.
As part of its effort to complete that review, the agency last week proposed to ban 111 drug ingredients in over-the-counter diet products. Most companies have stopped using those ingredients, industry officials said.