Today the FDA will issue a public health advisory to warn parents not to give over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to children ‘because serious and potentiall life-threatening side effects can occur.’
Last October, a similar warning was issued, which said that perhaps the drugs weren't even effective and shouldn't be used in anyone under the age of six.
The doctor who petitioned the FDA last year to end the use of these nonprescription medicines for young children states, ‘If there's really no evidence of benefit, you don't want to risk the rare problem.’ Overdosing is another potential problem with these OTC cold medicines.
A reported 1,500 babies and toddlers ended up in the emergeny room over a two-year period due to over-the-counter oral cold medications.
The FDA reviewed reports of side effects from the last forty years and found 54 child fatalities from OTC decongestants and 69 reported deaths related to antihistamine use.