No Cough Medicine For Kids Under Age 2 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/17/08

No Cough Medicine For Kids Under Age 2

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Three months after major brands of infant cold and cough medicines were voluntarily pulled off the market -- two new surveys show most parents still think it's okay to use them. 

So Thursday, the FDA warned again, they're not safe. Even though it's rare, the FDA says there can be serious, potentially life-threatening side effects in that age group. The reason, it's just so easy to accidentally overdose kids under two -- even with the advice of a doctor. Because different versions of the medicines look alike, but have different ingredients.

"It's simply not a case of sending someone out and saying 'buy such-and-such product and use it at, you know, this dose' because it may not the product that the health care provider is thinking about," said Charles Ganley, Director, FDA Office of Nonprescription Drugs.

FDA advisors have already said there's really no evidence that stuff even works in kids under age two. And now, even the drug companies have quit making cold and cough medicine for infants. But since millions of Americans still have those remedies in the medicine cabinet, the FDA is still trying to get the word out to throw out your cold and cough medicine if the label says it is intended for kids under age 2.

Chicken soup and lots of love may be the best treatment for little ones with a cold or cough.

Over the counter cough and cold products include decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines, and antitussives (cough suppressants) for the treatment of colds.

Pending completion of the fda's ongoing review, parents and caregivers that choose to use OTC cough and cold medicines to children ages 2 to 11 years should:

  • follow the dosing directions on the label of any otc mMedication;
  • understand that these drugs will not cure or shorten the duration of the common cold;
  • check the "drug facts" label to learn what active ingredients are in the products because many otc cough and cold products contain multiple active ingredients;
  • and only use measuring spoons or cups that come with the medicine or those made specially for measuring drugs. 
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