Cough Medicine Dangerous for Children

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Drug companies have just over a month to stop making and selling unapproved medicines for children under 6 that contain the painkiller and cough suppressant hydrocodone.

The mandate comes from the Food and Drug Administration. It's part of their broader effort to stop the sale of an estimated 200 unapproved prescription cough medicines made with the drug.

The FDA is ordering manufacturers of any other unapproved hydrocodone medicines, beyond those intended for young children, to stop making them by the end of the year. They are to stop shipping the medicines by the end of March.

The FDA says the mandate applies to most of the hydrocodone formulations sold as cough medicines. But that doesn't include seven cough suppressants made with the drug that do have FDA approval.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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