Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cough & cold meds withdrawn

Following up this post on avoiding cough medicines in kids, it was announced today (I have the fax from J&J in front of me) that there will be a voluntary withdrawal of ALL cough and cold remedies for children under the age of 2. (image credit)

There is an FDA advisory panel next week, and there probably would have been a recommendation on this already. (Chicago Tribune)
"It's important to point out that these medicines are safe and effective when used as directed, and most parents are using them appropriately," said Linda A. Suydam, president of Consumer Healthcare Products Association. "The reason the makers of over-the-counter, oral cough and cold medicines for infants are voluntarily withdrawing these medicines is that there have been rare patterns of misuse leading to overdose recently identified, particularly in infants, and safety is our top priority."

Many of the medicines contain pseudoephedrine and phenlypephrine. The branded cough and cold medicines that are being voluntarily withdrawn are: Dimetapp Decongestant Plus Cough Infant Drops; Dimetapp Decongestant Infant Drops; Little Colds Decongestant Plus Cough; Little Colds Multi-Symptom Cold Formula; PEDIACARE Infant Drops Decongestant & Cough and certain brands of Robitussin, Triaminic and Tylenol brands of infant and toddler cough and cold remedies.
I really feel bad for all those family practice offices (like ours) and pediatrician offices today. We're already been getting phone calls on what parents are supposed to do now since these medicines are going to be voluntarily withdrawn. Ah yes, just another day at the office....


OHN said...

Odddly enough a friend just sent me a study done in Canada regarding children's coughs and treatments. According to the study they have had 100%, yes 100% relief from coughing,(especially night-time) when rubbing large amount of Vick's rub (the one we all grew up with) on the FEET of the children and covering them with socks before bedtime. I have no idea how Canada conducts their studies but I sure am going to give the Vick's foot slather a shot the next time the kids bring cooties home from school! Any opinion as a physician why this would or would not be effective?

Dr. Deb said...

Yowser!! I can see how it will be a busy time for you.

Dr. Gwenn said...

Honestly, this shouldn't change much. This just follows suit with what has been building for a very long time. I was always taught these medications were ineffective in small children and never used them and have never seen my pediatric colleagues use them. As the data pointed to safety issues, we became more vehement in practice to warn parents about the dangers and the fact that they did not work.

So, as I see it, the practices that will get slammed with calls will be the ones who caved to parental pressure despite evidence and what they knew to be standard of care.

By the way, if you think back to a year ago, the FDA did warn this was coming...and the AAP was right with them supporting that. I applaud the pharmaceutical company on this one.

This is where good education with a multiprong approach helps in a practice.

BTW...blogger's been acting up so there's a chance this will get posted twice....

Anonymous said...

I have used the vick's Vapor Rub on my children's feet for years and it does wonders at stopping their coughs. I am glad that they have recalled all of these drugs. I have never used them on my children as you don't know what the effects will be on them becuse of the lack of testing and research.