The New York Times is reporting that safety experts are urging the FDA to consider a ban of all “over-the-counter, multisymptom cough and cold medicines for children under 6.”
In a 356-page report issued by the experts, they suggested that the FDA ban all “infant” cough medicines and standardize droppers, cups and syringes so that measuring a dose will be less confusing for consumers. The Times says there are currently over 800 cough and cold meds marketed for small children.
The reviewers wrote that there is little evidence that these medicines are effective in young children, and there are increasing fears that they may be dangerous. From 1969 to 2006, at least 54 children died after taking decongestants, and 69 died after taking antihistamines, the report said. And it added that since adverse drug reactions are reported voluntarily and fitfully, the numbers were likely to significantly understate the medicines’ true toll.
There’s increasing evidence that these drugs are not only dangerous for small children, they’re expensive and ineffective. The NYT says, “a growing number of studies suggest that cough and cold medicines work no better in children than placebos.”