Friday, January 18, 2008

FDA Says No to Cough Meds

Back in October, drugmakers voluntarily pulled several children's cold medicines off the market based on the FDA investigation that was pending about their safety. Today reports are out that the FDA has made a decision. They are issuing a stern health advisory- to not to give babies under two years of age over-the-counter cold and cough medicine because of potentially "serious and life-threatening side effects." This includes decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines and cough suppressants.

The FDA is looking into OTC meds for children aged 2-11 and should come to a decision on safety by this spring.

Until then try these remedies. NPR asked doctors and reports:

- Always encourage a child by telling him or her that colds are usually short-lived, and that they will feel better in a few days.

- Products containing acetaminophen, such as Tylenol; or products containing ibuprofen, such as Motrin or Advil, can make a sick child more comfortable, when given in the proper dose.

- Saline nose drops or warm steam from a shower can help ease decongestion. Of decongestants and cough medicines on the market, Benjamin says, "There is not anything out there that is effective."

- Ensure the child drinks plenty of fluids.

- If the child is not getting better or is getting worse, reevaluate his or her condition.

- Doctors emphasize the importance of reassuring the child by providing affection, comfort, and understanding.

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