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News About Codeine in Children's Cough-and-Cold Medicine

When your child comes to you with the common cold, often times the solution is as simple reaching into your medicine cabinet and pulling out a bottle of cough syrup or flu pills. Your child takes the medication, feels better, and all is well. Some new research may have you thinking twice the next time your little one comes to you with a cough.

Is Codeine in Children's Cough-and-Cold Medicine Safe?

In some cases parents may not realize all the ingredients in these common medicines. In light of new research the Food and Drug Administration is advising the public to be aware of how their children react to codeine. They warn that some reactions could be bad.

Many over-the-counter cough, flu and pain medications contain codeine. Because it is often mixed in with other medicines, your child may have taken codeine without your knowledge. As a result, something as simple as an earache or headache may have resulted in your child ingesting it.

Side Effects of Children's Codeine Cough-and-Cold Medicine

In the past the FDA has cautioned against giving codeine to children shortly after certain surgeries. New research alerts parents that there could be serious side affects. If your child is under 18, use of codeine may cause adverse aftereffects including breathing issues. The possible side effects revolve around difficulty and slow breathing, often accompanied by drowsiness. Your doctor may refer to such symptoms as respiratory depression. In extreme cases, these symptoms can be life threatening.

Your child is at a higher risk of codeine related issues if he or she has preexisting medical conditions such as asthma. Additionally, because the body metabolizes codeine as morphine, be aware of if you breastfeed. Breast milk transfers morphine so infants can be especially at risk.

So what should you do?

Take an inventory of your medicine cabinet. Take note of which remedies contain codeine. If your child has been prescribed any medications containing the compound, consult your physician.

If you believe your child or anyone else you know has experienced any of these negative effects, you might want to consult a lawyer. He or she will be able to decide if legal action might be necessary.

Be aware of exactly what your child is taking when he or she gets sick, and take note of any side effects. This could make all the difference should a dangerous situation present itself.

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