Cold Medicines Inneffective and Even Dangerous for Infants

A study released within the January 12, 2007 publication of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published by the Centers for Disease Control, (CDC), and reported by numerous news outlets, reports that over-the-counter cough and cold medications could be unhealthy or perhaps deadly to infants. Based on the report, in 2004 and 2005 1,500 children younger than 2 were treated in emergency rooms for problems associated with taking such medications, and three died.

Dr. Adam Cohen, an officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stated, "Cough and cold medicines could be unhealthy, perhaps even fatal, and should be taken with caution in youngsters under two years of age." The articles observe that The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only has approved the use of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines in youngsters older than 2. Regardless of this the usage under that age is wide spread. Based on the articles, research has figured that such medications are no more effective on infants than a placebo. Dr. Michael Marcus, director of pediatric pulmonology, allergy and immunology at the Maimonides Infants & Children's Hospital in New York City stated, "Cold and cough medications, especially medications containing pseudoephedrine [a nasal decongestant], haven't been shown to possess any beneficial impact on children under 2 years of age, yet they clearly may have significant harmful effects." Dr. Cohen of the CDC summed up his recomendations by saying, "Parents should never give medicine without consulting a health-care provider, even over-the-counter," Cohen added. "Many over-the-counter medicines may be marketed for infants, and there are no approved dosing recommendations from the FDA for this age group. There's very little evidence that they help in children under 2."

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