FDA Warns Against Codeine Meds for Kids

FDA Warns Against Codeine Meds for Kids

The Food and Drug Administration has recently released a warning against giving children under 12 any prescription medicines that contain codeine or tramadol, which are narcotics. As such, they represent dangerous substances for young people between 12 and 18 years old.

What Measures Will Be Taken?

Last Thursday, the FDA declared that they will ask for prescription drugs that include either codeine or tramadol to have a warning on their label regarding the use for children under 12 and women who are breast-feeding. They also referred to various evidence that these types of drugs could slow the breathing process in some of the children, which would then lead to death.

But Are They So Often Found?

Indeed, there are lots of prescription drugs that contain one of the two dangerous substances. For example, Tylenol 3 is made of codeine and acetaminophen. Thankfully, drugs that rely on codeine already have a warning on the box against the use for pain in children that got their tonsils removed.

Douglas Throckmorton, who is the deputy director of the regulatory programs at the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says that they have been watching this issue for several years now. He also said that indeed, they are reliable and effective medicines if used right, but at the same time they can be dangerous if used improperly.

Not All of Them Are Restricted

However, these new warning did not affect some other over-the-counter medicines containing codeine, such as medication for flu or cold and some cough syrups. Consequently, the FDA issued a warning for the parents to visit their doctor before administering these drugs to their children. Moreover, the agency said that with kids, colds and coughs are generally mild and get healed in a couple of days, so most times children don’t even need medication.

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