Monday, January 21, 2008

Cough medicines not for kids: US FDA

New Delhi: The virus is in the air and your instant reaction is to give your child the readily available cough syrup. But this may actually be putting your baby in danger.

In a move expected for months, the FDA has issued a warning that over the counter (OTC) cold and cough medicines should not be given to children under two.

The advisory has raised serious concerns in India as well.

“While there is a move to ban these drugs for kids in the US, the Indian Paediatric Association n also feels that a similar move should be made here. A doc's prescription should be made mandatory

Senior Consultant, Paediatrics, Max Hospital, Dr Nitin Verma.

One of the key ingredients of cough syrups that has worried the doctors is dextromethrophan and chlorpheneramina in cold medicines as an overdose of these compounds can have fatal results.

“How can medicines having these compounds do damage to a child's system?” Director, Pediatrics, Max Hospital, Dr Arvind Taneja.

As a parent the last thing you want to see is your child in pain, so the instant option then becomes self-medication.

“I give it, I don't want to see my child sulking but it gives him relief,” says a parent.

But the bigger question is, are OTC cold remedies safe and effective for children under 12?

Till doctors find an answer to that, as a parent one must remember:

  • To follow label directions if you try these drugs.
  • To avoid giving a child a combination of drugs, If you do, double check with your pediatrician.
  • To understand that these drugs only treat symptoms. Colds are viruses, and the drugs will not make them go away any faster.

And don’t forget to support your child with lots of fluids and kisses, above all give your time to your child.

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