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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cough and Cold Medicines, Practice Caution When Giving To Children

FDA is cautioning parents and caregivers about giving their children cough and cold medicines.
FDA strongly recommends that cough and cold medicines NOT be given to children younger than 2 years old because serious and potentially life-threatening side effects can occur, including convulsions, rapid heart rates, decreased levels of consciousness and death.
FDA is currently reviewing the use of these medicines in children aged two to 11. While the review is being completed, here are some recommendations for parents and caregivers if they give cough and cold medicines to children two and older:

• Understand that these medicines won't cure or shorten the duration of the common cold. They're just intended to relieve symptoms.
• Be sure to follow the dosing directions on the label.
• Check the "Drug Facts" label to learn which active ingredients are in the products. Using two medicines that have the same or similar active ingredients could give a child too much of that drug.
• Only use measuring spoons or cups that come with the medicine or those made specially for measuring drugs. Otherwise, the wrong amount could be given.

Additional Information:

FDA MedWatch Safety Alert. Cough and Cold Medications in Children Less Than Two Years of Age. January 17, 2008.
http://www.fda.gov/medwatch/safety/2008/safety08.htm#cough

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