Thursday, December 18, 2008

Health Canada says children under 6 shouldn't get cough and cold medication

From the Canadian Press:
Children under six years old shouldn't be treated with over-the-counter cough and cold medications because the potential risks outweigh any possible benefits, Health Canada says.

The warning follows a recently completed review of scientific data on the products by the federal department, which recommended in October 2007 that children under two shouldn't be given the cough and cold remedies.

"The current decision expands on those preliminary recommendations," Dr. Marc Berthiaume, director of Health Canada's marketed pharmaceuticals and medical devices bureau at Health Canada, said Thursday from Ottawa.

The review, which included advice from an expert scientific advisory panel, concluded "there is limited evidence supporting the effectiveness of these products in children," the agency said.

"In addition, reports of misuse, overdose and rare side-effects have raised concerns about the use of these medicines in children under six. The rare but serious potential side-effects include convulsions, increased heart rate, decreased level of consciousness, abnormal heart rhythms and hallucinations." ...more

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