The drug store chain said it will remove a small number of products. STOCK PHOTO

Associated Press

CVS Health is pulling from its shelves some cough-and-cold treatments that contain an ingredient that has been deemed ineffective by doctors and researchers.

The drug store chain said it will remove a small number of products that contain phenylephrine as the only active ingredient. CVS also said it will still sell "many other oral cough and cold products to meet consumer needs."

A company spokeswoman declined to elaborate on how many products will be removed when contacted by The Associated Press Friday morning.

CVS Health runs more than 9,000 stores in the United States. Representatives of its national rival, Walgreens, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press on whether it would follow suit.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisers voted unanimously last month against the effectiveness of phenylephrine, which is found in popular versions of Sudafed, Dayquil and other medications stocked on store shelves.

The FDA had asked its outside advisers to examine the long-questioned drug ingredient.

Phenylephrine had become the main drug in over-the-counter decongestants when medicines with an older ingredient – pseudoephedrine – were moved behind pharmacy counters. A 2006 law had forced the move because pseudoephedrine can be illegally processed into methamphetamine.

Those original versions of Sudafed and other medicines remain available without a prescription.

The CVS Health announcement comes shortly before another coldand-flu season starts in the United States as winter sets in. Last year, an unusually fast start to the season led to shortages of Children’s Tylenol and other medications customers can purchase over-the-counter, or without a prescription.