FDA Rejects Child Cold Meds Recall
The Food and Drug Administration in the US has rejected a plea from pediatricians to ban cough and cold medicines for children under 6 years of age, worried that an outright ban before further research might lead to additional complications. The FDA worries that an immediate ban may lead parents to give adult medicine to their children in an efford to treat cold symptoms, which would be even more harmful.
"That is a concern for us," said Dr. John Jenkins, who heads the FDA's Office of New Drugs. "We do not want to do something that we think will have a positive impact, only to have an unintended negative. That could be an even worse situation."
With a new cold season coming, pediatricians are urging the government to demand a recall of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for children younger than 6. The effectiveness of the medicines in children was never scientifically established, critics say, and problems with the drugs send thousands of kids to the emergency room every year.
The children's cough and cold medicine industry in the US nets $286 million a year, and the remedies are most often used by children aged 2 to 5. One major risk factor is that multiple products contain the same ingredients, so when used concurrently can lead to an overdose.
Doctors remind parents that there is no cure for the common cold, which will clear up naturally over a couple of days with plenty of rest and fluids. Many studies indicate that taking cold remedies actually prolongs the duration of a cold.