Cold Medicines Removed

1 decade 1 month 4 weeks ago Monday, October 15 2007 Oct 15, 2007 Monday, October 15, 2007 1:44:15 AM CDT October 15, 2007 in News

The messages told pharmacists to immediately pull certain over-the-counter cold products from the shelves because of overdose concerns. For people of all ages, the common cold is just that...common.

"It's probably one of the most common reasons that we see kids in our office, especially at this time of year. From about mid-October to mid-March is peak cold and flu season," said Dr. Trent Rogers of Capital Region Pediatric Associates.

With cold season coming, many people turn to their local drug stores for relief. But parents of infants under age two won't find those cold and cough products on the shelves anymore due to the voluntary withdrawal by manufacturers. Medicine makers say the main concern is misuse, especially by accidental overdose in infants.

"With small children, especially under the age of two, there is a wide variance in sizes and weights, and getting the appropriate dosage is going to be very important," said Triston Brownfield of D&H Pharmacy.

Doctors say turning to over the counter medications isn't always best.

"The general approach of most parents when their child is sick is they want to make it better. But most cold medicines don't make it better, they are just designed to be symptom relievers, and they don't even do that really well. The only treatment that I tell parents works almost 100 percent of the time is time, just riding it out," Rogers said.

Pharmacists say product removals are pretty rare.

"A lot of times it's due to manufacturing processes or things that really don't affect the drug. It's more of a precautionary measure. It doesn't happen that often," Brownfield said.

Only certain medicines with recommended use for children under two were removed. Many pediatric cold and cough medicines are still on the market for older children.

Rogers said he's always steered patients from cold medicine for infants.

"When you weigh the benefits and risks of cold medicines, the risk of a cold being untreated...not very big. The risk of some of these cold medicines is actually kind of high," Rogers said.

You should check your medicine cabinet at home to see if you have any of the removed products. If you do have any of the medicine, manufacturers say you should not give them to children under two.

An FDA committee will meet this week to discuss the future of pediatric cold medicines. Manufacturers are working with the FDA for possible label changes on pediatric medicines still on the shelves.

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