In the Washington Post on Thursday, there was an article (here) stating that the FDA has issued a warning to parents to NEVER give over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to children younger than 2 without a doctor’s approval. Apparently, the effectiveness of such medicines has not been proven and there is a distinct risk of overdose or dosage to the point of heart problems and other serious side effects.
Now, the medicines typically already indicate the age range of use, including the notice not to use on children younger than 2 without a doctor’s advice. So what now? It is really sad that people apparently just ignore the notices. If the age limits and warnings already on the medicine do not give parents pause, what will?
The only thing mentioned in the article is possibly barring direct marketing of the products for use in young children. I wonder how much of an effect that would have; I don’t really remember seeing advertisements for these medicines regularly. I guess I’ll have to go back and take a look at some of my magazines. I just don’t think that that is enough. Perhaps they should consider a section in childbirth classes, parenting classes, handouts at OB/GYN offices, and the like.
The FDA is convening a panel of experts in October to review the use of cold medicines in young children. I guess we’ll have to wait to see what comes out of it.