Sunday, September 27, 2020

Procter & Gamble’s Febreze Product May Contain Active Drug Compound That Can Enter Human Cell

July 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured Stories

Something does not smell right over at Procter & Gamble. For more than a year, I have been trying to reach the proper people at the company  (ie. Sr. Execs) in order to get them to pay attention to the fact that one of their key products has a potential drug in it that millions of people are inhaling.

The potential drug is called hydroxy propyl beta cyclodextrin (HPBCD) and this compound is used in many of Procter & Gamble household products, including their Febreze air freshener.  You can read about how P&G uses HPBCD in Febreze on their website.  HPBCD is the active ingredient which helps Febreze do its odor reduction magic!

What the top people at P&G may or may not know is that it has recently been discovered that cyclodextrins have an affinity for cholesterol, especially forms of HPBCD.  For decades, HPBCD was thought to be an inactive and non toxic ingredient but in fact HPBCD may act as very powerful drug in the human body.  When cyclodextrin enters into the body, researchers believe it has the ability to penetrate into the lysosome of a human cell and interact with cholesterol and potentially other things as well.

I am currently trying to save my twins’ lives with HPBCD as they are afflicted with one of the worst cholesterol diseases on the planet — it’s called Niemann Pick Type C and the condition is often referred to as “childhood Alzheimer’s.”  I have been working on trying to figure out how make an HPBCD aerosol that the twins can breath in — essentially a Febreze without all the scents.  While we currently have FDA approval to give Addi and Cassi intravenous and intrathecal treatments of HPBCD, the compound does not appear to penetrate the lung through these routes of administration.  So I need to look into making an aerosol to reach the lung.

I contacted Procter & Gamble when I learned about HPBCD being in their product line.  I was hoping they could help me with some data on HPBCD, but more importantly, I wanted to alert them of the fact that HPBCD is a potential active drug and I believed further studies on HPBCD needed to be carried out.

What really stinks is that Procter and Gamble ignores me regarding this issue with HPBCD being a potentially active drug  — it’s truly an unbelievable situation.  The product manager I was routed to last year who is apparently responsible for the Febreze product line does not respond to me nor do their top PR people who I have contacted numerous times.  Maybe the lawyers are involved at this point?  I don’t know ….. but something about them ignoring me stinks to high heaven.  The whole nightmare with them completley blowing me off for months has sent me completley over the edge.

Two weeks ago, I forwarded them patent information on HPBCD as a new therapy to threat asthma and COPD — essentially researchers are looking to create an HPBCD that can be inhaled through the nose and mouth to treat these lung conditions  — just what I am looking for!   No response.

I do not think HPBCD is harmful.  It’s a non toxic sugar compound and it has a great safety profile.  Obviously, we are putting the compound into my twins’ brains to try and save their lives and it could be used to treat lung diseases.  But given that HPBCD is a potential active drug, is seems like a fair request to ask Procter & Gamble to take what I am saying seriously given millions of people are inhaling Febreze (even if it is in very small amounts or it’s a small exposure).

If Febreze is going through your nose, it’s potentially getting into your bloodstream and could even cross the blood-brain barrier through the nasal passage.  People have a right to know that they could be breathing in a drug that could interact with their cholesterol, even if it is completely safe.  Surely more studies need to be conducted now that we have new information that cyclodextrin is a potential active pharmaceutical ingredient (API).

I contacted the FDA about this issue since HPBCD is a potential drug but I was told by FDA that this is an issue for the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC).  I am planning on contacting Inez Tenenbaum who is the Chairman of the Commission because it’s not right that a company like P&G can simply ignore something like this.  Certainly a company should report whether they have been notified that their product’s main ingredient is a potential drug that could get into a person’s cells.

What is the public’s right to know in a situation like this?  I don’t know the answer but I am going to sniff it out.

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5 Responses to “Procter & Gamble’s Febreze Product May Contain Active Drug Compound That Can Enter Human Cell”
  1. In Home Care says:

    Well I hope you have a back up on this article. Some researchers and some doctors are doing so many years to research for something and they have a very solid back up files.

  2. Второй вариант значительно проще, но и прибыль в разы меньше, по крайней мере
    на начальном этапе.

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  4. B says:

    Dear Chris Hempel,

    I’m not quite sure of your background (i.e. if you have a scientific background), etc… however, I came across this post in a google search on beta-cyclodextrin (as I use it in research) and it intrigued me. I only mention that i’m not sure of your background because I do not wish to offend you with any of my statements if you have technical background related to this, but some of your information seems to be… misguided. I realize you’re a parent, that you seem to be rather fired up/annoyed, and that this post was to provide information about a little known subject, just want to throw my 2 cents in.

    Beta-cyclodextrin -is not- a drug, in the strictest sense of the word. It would more likely be classified as a -treatment-, similar to the relatively well publicized “Lorenzo’s Oil” for ALD. Cyclodextrin use is well documented (alpha-beta-and gamma CD) for drug complexation, as well as artificial sweeteners. That being said, I would caution you to refer to CD’s as treatments for a disease to avoid misleading statements in your literature. (in FDA terms i’m not sure if there is a distinction between treatment and drug however)

    I am not well versed in this disease, but from the top of my head and about 15 min of research I would suggest the method of action for this is not that B-CD actually enters the cells, but rather complexes the lipids within the body so they cannot reach the problem areas. (e.g. not fixing the problem, just removing a lot of the causative factors)

    The problem with the inhalation route, etc. is that these researchers are trying to treat lung problem by inhaling directly into the lungs… I am not entirely positive of the barriers, but there is a significant amount of mucosal lining within the lungs that would most likely prevent transfer of a significant portion of the B-CD into the blood stream of your children. The idea with the inhalation route for asthma treament is usually trying to keep albuterol suspended within solution (it’s why you have to shake an inhaler up before using it, albuterol depending on processing can settle to the bottom of the solution in 30min) thus they would be looking to keep albuterol in solution to increase delivery of the drug. I don’t wish to deter you, or squash hopes, but I believe this route of delivery may not be available, as most likely the only reason this is being investigated with asthma/COPD is to solubilize the topical medications.

    A short note on the P&G issue. Don’t hold your breath with P&G, mostly because they have a vested interest in the information you are requiring. Getting P&G to release possibly damaging information on one of their top selling products is not going to happen without a court order, or unless they come out with definitive studies that show it is not harmful. Additionally, there are Intellectual Property issues that they are most likely considering, having their tech floating around, even in the hand of someone trying to help their children, is not in the interest of their company… unfortunately.

    With all that said, I realize large companies will not help you with this as this disease is rare and there is no money in it for them, ane as such I would just like to offer assistance if you need any advice, as I have a degree in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, and happen to be quite involved in biotech research. ( if you wish to correspond via email <– very old email but i well check it occasionally in the upcoming weeks for a response)

    I applaude you for your drive and commitment to this cause, your girls are lucky to have such loving and devoted parents.


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