FDA issues report critical of children's cold medicines - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

FDA issues report critical of children's cold medicines

An advisory panel for the Food and Drug Administration recommended against over the counter cold and cough medicines for children under age six because of safety concerns on Friday.

Despite some reservations the panel agreed to allow the medicines to be used by children aged six to twelve, even though it found no evidence the medications work.

In addition to worrying about the risks to children the FDA panel wrestled with what might happen if these immensely popular medications are suddenly taken off the market.

"They will administer adult products to their children," warned panel member Amy Solento.

Last week manufacturers pulled medicines aimed at children under two after reports of illnesses and even the deaths of a few children.

Several medical experts asked the FDA to consider banning the products for all children.

The panel also questioned how safe is safe enough.

"There's nothing completely safe. That's a standard that would be wonderful, but that's a standard not attainable," said panel member Mary Tinetti.

With the dizzying array of brand names even doctors have trouble telling the medications apart.

The FDA advisers suggest standardized doses, millileters, not teaspoons, tablespoons or other measurements...And marked cups, syringes or other devices to make dosing more foolproof.

The panel also recommended tougher label guidelines and banning the term "doctor recommended."

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