Drugs Q & A

Why Was Vicks’s First Defence Discontinued?

Vicks First Defence is a nasal spray that was developed by the American pharmaceutical company Procter & Gamble (P&G) and first launched in the UK in 2005. It was marketed as a way to help prevent colds by stopping the virus before it can take hold.

The spray contained a microgel that was designed to trap and disable cold viruses before they could infect the body’s cells. Users were instructed to use the spray as soon as they felt the first signs of a cold, such as a sore throat or runny nose.

The launch of Vicks First Defence generated a lot of interest and excitement, as it was the first product of its kind to be marketed in this way. However, it also generated controversy, with some medical professionals expressing doubts about its effectiveness and safety.

Despite these concerns, Vicks First Defence proved popular with consumers and became a best-selling product in the UK and other countries. However, as I mentioned earlier, changes in regulations around medical devices led to its discontinuation in some countries.

It is worth noting that while Vicks First Defence was marketed as a way to prevent colds, it was not a cure for the common cold, which is caused by a virus that cannot be cured by medication.

Why was Vicks’s First Defence discontinued?

In 2011, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK reclassified Vicks First Defence as a medicinal product. This meant that it had to undergo more rigorous testing and gain a marketing authorization before it could be sold as a medicine.

The manufacturer of Vicks First Defence, Procter & Gamble, decided not to pursue the necessary regulatory approvals and withdrew the product from the market in the UK and some other countries. However, it is still available in some countries as a medical device.

It is worth noting that there is some controversy over the effectiveness of Vicks First Defence in preventing colds. While some studies have suggested that it may help reduce the duration and severity of colds, others have found no significant difference between it and a placebo.

List Vicks First Defence Side Effects

Vicks First Defence is generally considered safe and does not have many side effects. However, some people may experience side effects from using Vicks First Defence. Here are some potential side effects:

1.        Nasal irritation: Some people may experience nasal irritation, such as burning or stinging when using Vicks First Defence. This usually goes away after a few minutes.

2.        Sneezing: Vicks First Defence may cause some people to sneeze, particularly if they are not used to using a nasal spray.

3.        Dryness: Vicks First Defence may cause some dryness in the nasal passages, which can be uncomfortable for some people.

4.        Headache: Some people may experience headaches after using Vicks First Defence, although this is not a common side effect.

5.        Allergic reaction: In rare cases, some people may experience an allergic reaction to Vicks First Defence. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using Vicks First Defence and seek medical attention immediately.

It’s important to follow the instructions for using Vicks First Defence and to talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or experience any side effects.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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