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Poli-Grip – Association of Long-Term, Excessive Use of Zinc-Containing Poli-Grip Products with Myeloneuropathy and Blood Dyscrasias – For the Public

Starting date:
February 18, 2010
Posting date:
February 23, 2010
Type of communication:
Public Communication
Medical Device
Source of recall:
Health Canada
Product Safety, Product withdrawal
General Public
Identification number:

This is duplicated text of a letter from GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.
Contact the company for a copy of any references, attachments or enclosures.

Notice about Health Canada advisories

Public Communication – Health Canada Endorsed Important Safety Information on Poli-Grip

February 18, 2010

Subject: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) warns about a potential health risk associated with long-term, excessive use of zinc-containing denture adhesives: Poli-Grip Advanced Care, Extra Strength and Ultra Fresh

This communication is to alert consumers to a potential health risk from long-term excessive use of zinc-containing denture adhesives: Poli-Grip Advanced Care, Extra Strength and Ultra Fresh.

While zinc is an essential part of the diet, recent publications suggest that an excessive intake of zinc-containing denture adhesives over several years may lead to the development of neurological symptoms. These may include numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms and legs, difficulties with walking and balance and blood problems such as anemia.

Poli-Grip is safe to use as directed in the product label (see below). However, some consumers apply more adhesive than directed and use it more than once per day. Therefore, as a precautionary measure to minimize any potential risks to these consumers, GSK has voluntarily stopped the manufacture, distribution and advertising of these zinc-containing products.

What consumers should do

If you have been using zinc-containing Poli-Grip Advanced Care, Extra Strength or Ultra Fresh for several years in greater amounts than directed on the package or more than once per day, or have concerns about your health, you must:

  1. Stop using the product.
  2. Talk to your doctor.
  3. Switch to a zinc-free alternative.

People with ill-fitting dentures should seek help from their dental care professional, rather than compensate for poorly fitting dentures by using excessive adhesive.

GSK will soon be introducing zinc-free versions of Poli-Grip Advanced Care, Extra Strength and Ultra Fresh, Zinc Free will be clearly shown on the new packaging.

Consumers with questions may call GSK at 1-888-521-8033.

For more information on Poli-Grip and zinc, visit

Label Information

Poli-Grip Advanced Care, Extra Strength and Ultra Fresh directions for safe and effective use

Directions: Poli-Grip holds all day. Apply once a day for secure hold. Start with a small amount. Using too much adhesive can cause oozing. If oozing occurs, use less adhesive next time. Do not apply more than once a day. A 50 g tube should last about 4 to 6 weeks. If not, you are using too much adhesive which may be a sign of ill-fitting dentures. See your dentist regularly. Routine dental examinations are part of good oral health and necessary to check the fit of your denture.


  1. Clean and dry your dentures.
  2. Apply adhesive in two or three short ¼ inch strips, not too close to denture edges.
  3. Rinse mouth before inserting dentures.
  4. Press dentures in place, hold firmly, and bite down for a few seconds to secure.
    • To keep tip from clogging, keep cap and nozzle dry.


  1. Swish mouth with water.
  2. Slowly remove dentures by using a rocking motion.
  3. Remove denture adhesive residue from denture and mouth with warm water and a soft brush.
  4. Use Polident Denture Cleanser to thoroughly clean your denture.

Important Product Information

  • This product contains zinc. Talk to your doctor before using this product if you are taking daily zinc supplements.

  • Do not use if you have sensitivity to any of the cream ingredients. If discomfort occurs, discontinue use.

  • Swallowing small amounts of this product, when used as directed, may occur and is not harmful.

  • Use only as directed. Using excessive amounts of this product over a prolonged period of time has been reported to result in serious health effects from increased zinc intake.

Managing marketed health product-related adverse incidents depends on health care professionals and consumers reporting them. Reporting rates determined on the basis of spontaneously reported post-market adverse incidents are generally presumed to underestimate the risks associated with health product treatments. Any cases of serious numbness, tingling or weakness in the arms and legs, difficulties with walking and balance and blood problems such as anemia or other serious or unexpected adverse incidents for medical devices in patients using Poli-Grip should be reported to GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare or Health Canada at the following addresses:

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare
2030 Bristol Circle
Oakville, Ontario
L6H 5V2

Any suspected adverse incident can also be reported to:
Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate
Address Locator: 2003D
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9
Telephone: The Inspectorate Hotline 1-800-267-9675

The Medical Devices Problem Report Form and Guidelines can be found on the Health Canada Web site.

For other medical device inquiries related to this communication, please contact Health Canada at:
Marketed Health Products Directorate (MHPD)
Telephone: 613-954-6522
Fax: 613-952-7738


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