New Health Canada Warnings for Children's Cold Medicine
Children under the age of six should never be given cold and cough medications, advised Health Canada on Thursday, after reviewing the effectiveness and potential dangers of the drugs.
Health Canada had previously warned parents about giving the medications to children under the age of two, but it's now expanded the restriction to the age of six, after receiving 124 reports of adverse reactions, 80 of them serious, in children under six from January 1995 to 2008. Of these, five children under two died, although it hasn't been comfirmed that misuse or overdose was the cause. Other rare side-effects include convulsions, increased heart rate, and hallucinations.
"Given the number of adverse events, especially for children under six, Health Canada decided these products should no longer be recommended," Dr. Marc Berthiaume, director of the market pharmaceuticals and medical devices bureau at Health Canada, said from Ottawa.
Health Canada is requiring manufacturers to relabel over-the-counter cough and cold medicines that have dosing information for children to indicate that these medicines should not be used in children under 6.