Friday, October 19, 2007

FDA Panel Recommends Against Cough and Cold Medicines for Children 6 and Under

Article on cnn.com -- FDA panel: No cold medicines to children under 6.  Here's an excerpt:

Over-the-counter cold and cough medicines don't work for children under age 6 and giving the common medicine to young children cannot be recommended, a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee said Friday.

The panel of health experts looking at how safe and effective antihistamines, decongestants, antitussins and expectorants are in children said it is not appropriate to take data from adults and apply it to children under 12.

After a two-day hearing on the safety of the medicine, the panel called for more studies about how these drugs affect children.

Although the panel's recommendation is nonbinding, it could lead to changes in how cough and cold medicine is used.

The article also notes that since 1969, there have been 54 reported deaths in children from decongestants and 69 deaths in children from antihistamines.  Will the recent publicity and FDA Advisory Panel recommendation result in many lawsuits being filed for child deaths putatively from cough and cold medications?  The Consumer Healthcare Products Association argues that consumer misuse of the cough-and-cold medications may be the cause of deaths, which suggests that any cases filed will turn heavily on individual product use, as well as other individual issues of medical causation.

BGS

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