(a) Reports in the medical literature and data accumulated by the Food and Drug Administration indicate that esophageal obstruction and asphyxiation have been associated with the ingestion of water-soluble gums, hydrophilic gums, and hydrophilic mucilloids including, but not limited to, agar, alginic acid, calcium polycarbophil, carboxymethylcellulose sodium, carrageenan, chondrus, glucomannan ((B-1,4 linked) polymannose acetate), guar gum, karaya gum, kelp, methylcellulose, plantago seed (psyllium), polycarbophil, tragacanth, and xanthan gum. Esophageal obstruction and asphyxiation due to orally-administered drug products containing water-soluble gums, hydrophilic gums, and hydrophilic mucilloids as active ingredients are significant health risks when these products are taken without adequate fluid or when they are used by individuals with esophageal narrowing or dysfunction, or with difficulty in swallowing. Additional labeling is needed for the safe and effective use of any OTC drug product for human use containing a water-soluble gum, hydrophilic gum, or hydrophilic mucilloid as an active ingredient when marketed in a dry or incompletely hydrated form to include, but not limited to, the following dosage forms: Capsules, granules, powders, tablets, and wafers. Granular dosage forms containing psyllium are not generally recognized as safe and effective as OTC laxatives (see § 310.545(a)(12)(i)(B) of this chapter) and may not be marketed without an approved new drug application because the warnings and directions in paragraph (b) of this section have been found inadequate for these products.
(b) Any drug products for human use containing a water-soluble gum, hydrophilic gum, or hydrophilic mucilloid as an active ingredient in an oral dosage form when marketed in a dry or incompletely hydrated form as described in paragraph (a) of this section are misbranded within the meaning of section 502 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act unless their labeling bears the following warnings (under the subheading “Choking”) and directions:
“ ‘Choking’ [highlighted in bold type]: Taking this product without adequate fluid may cause it to swell and block your throat or esophagus and may cause choking. Do not take this product if you have difficulty in swallowing. If you experience chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty in swallowing or breathing after taking this product, seek immediate medical attention;” and
“ ‘Directions’ [highlighted in bold type]:” (Select one of the following, as appropriate: “Take” or “Mix”) “this product (child or adult dose) with at least 8 ounces (a full glass) of water or other fluid. Taking this product without enough liquid may cause choking. See choking warning.”
(c) After February 28, 1994, any such OTC drug product initially introduced or initially delivered for introduction into interstate commerce, or any such drug product that is repackaged or relabeled after this date regardless of the date the product was manufactured, initially introduced, or initially delivered for introduction into interstate commerce, that is not in compliance with this section is subject to regulatory action.