Drug Makers Pull Kids' Cough Medicines

By: Kiley Yarbrough
By: Kiley Yarbrough

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Some childrens medications are being voluntarily recalled less than two weeks after the government warned of their potential health risks.

The average child gets about 6-10 colds a year, but the recall isn’t for tainted medication, rather because of the risk of overdose.

The voluntary withdrawal includes over the counter cough and cold medicines for children under 2 years old.

“These medicines don't always work well for kids and we certainly do sometime see the bad side effects from the medication,” said Dr. Ryan Redman, a Pediatric Emergency physician.

In fact about 1,500 children under the age of two were admitted to the hospital for overdoses and adverse reactions to cough and cold medications in 2004 and 2005.

“It's kind of scary because they have been on the market the whole time," said Joy Johnson, a mother of two from Maryville.

Johnson is concerned about what options are left.

“Certainly as a parent I like as many options as I can have,” she said, “but you do what you have to do and what you can do. Maybe more trips to the doctor instead of over the counter medicine."

Dr. Redman says other ways to relieve the symptoms include cool mist humidifiers and saline drops with a suction bulb.

He says having a cold work its course can have its benefits.

“The cough and congestion and all the things they have is actually the body's way of clearing these infections,” Dr. Redman said. “It’s good to let these things go and not provide a lot of medication to suppress them."

You can still find some of the recalled medicines on the shelf, but that won't be for long.

“It helps him, it makes him feel better,” said Summer Garland, who has a 17 month old. “He started taking Triaminic three days ago and he is feeling better."

But getting well, without adverse side effects is the common goal, leaving some parents feeling hopeless.

“You want to do everything you can for your child and when they are having trouble breathing and they are coughing, you want to do whatever you can to help them feel better,” Johnson said.

Products for children over the age of two are staying put.

But soon those cold remedies will also be called into question.

If you're not sure what to do, call your family doctor.

The links below are to the web pages of the recalled brands.


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