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January 22, 1982


Author Affiliations

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences Boston

JAMA. 1982;247(4):460. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320290010007

To the Editor.—  The editorial entitled "Phenylpropanolamine: An Over-the-Counter Amphetamine?" (1981; 245:1346) by Alan Blum, MD, emphasizes perceived problems with overthe-counter (OTC) medication yet disregards scientific evidence that helps assure the American public of both safety and effectiveness of consumer medication.The public advisory committees of the Food and Drug Administration are composed of highly qualified persons from specialized fields with wide geographic distribution. Chastising or indirectly criticizing the recommendations of FDA advisory panels without an apparent awareness of the facts and scientific data on which recommendations were made is unfortunate.To imply that phenylpropanolamine is an OTC amphetamine is not in keeping with the weight of evidence to the contrary. Although Dietz (1981; 245:601) implies an "amphetaminelike" reaction in patients using phenylpropanolamine, the neurological effects he collated provide no mention of mood elevation, euphoria, increased energy, or alertness, all of which are associated with the pattern of amphetamine abuse.