Think Before You Dose

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Super-scary news of the day: The FDA is reviewing whether or not many widely-used kids’ cough and cold medicines are actually safe for kids, especially tikes under 2 years. There’s mounting evidence that these medicines can have adverse effects.

"In a recent study of hospital emergency room records from 2004 and 2005, the CDC found that at least 1,519 children under age 2 had suffered serious
health problems after being treated with common cough and cold
medicines. Three of the children died."

So what’s the deal? How are these products on the market? Apparently they weren’t tested extensively because many of the ingredients have been around (and approved) for a long time, before testing standards were higher. FDA officials say the recommended dosages are "best guesses" and that they have no hard facts on what a safe dose would be. Um, yikes!

What’s really scary about this is the fact that most people will probably give a sick kid (or, heck, themselves) cough and cold medicine if they think it’ll make their little one less miserable. But while these medicines treat symptoms, we all know there’s no cure for the cold. In light of this new concern, it seems like a big risk to take for a few sniffles. I know I’ll think twice.

Read the whole story at the New York Times.

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