Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Infant cold medicines pulled for overdose risk October 12, 2007

Filed under: health — rjlacko @ 7:09 pm

What do you do when your baby gets the sniffles? MSN recently posted this article about the removal of more than a dozen popular over-the-counter medications for children under age two.

I’m the type that would rather suffer through a monumental headache than take a pain reliever. When I get a cold, I go straight to our “medicine” cabinet for homeopathic immune boosters (like echinacea, goldenseal, etc.) and garlic and zinc supplements, washing them down with plenty of liquids, especially those with vitamin C, which has been proven to shorten the duration of viral infections.

However, when my baby gets a cough–or worse–I want him symptom-free, tear-free, and back to his old self as fast as possible. We have tried most over-the-counter medications for little Joseph’s (age 2.5 yrs) seasonal and nursery school-invoked viruses. In fact, as I review the list of withdrawn medications, I realize we’ve tried every last one, at some point or another.

BTW: Not only are they artificially colored and flavored (big no-no’s in this household!) but there is also no need for any spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down. They are loaded with sweetener!

With each cold, I’ve regretted those gooey, sugary mystery drugs, wishing there was some other way. But I’ve given them to him, because, more than anything, I want my baby to be healthy and feel good.

This article comes as the worst “I told you so” a mom could imagine.

On September 28, 2007, MSN had posted a similar piece, reporting “Very young children simply should not take some commonly used cold and cough medicines, federal health officials say in recommending that the “consult your physician” advice to parents on the labels be dropped. The preliminary recommendation, from Food and Drug Administration safety officials, would apply to decongestant use in children under 2, and antihistamines in those younger than 6, according to agency documents released Friday.”

At the time, I was outraged that this information had not been made common knowledge: for example, all the medication recalled for relabeling, and widespread alerts to pharmaceutical outlets. What a relief to hear have this finally make front-page news, and that retailers and pharmaceutical companies are responding. Parents, please take note that both articles stipulate “Safety experts for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have urged the agency to consider a ban on these medicines for children under the age of 6 years.”

We are among the lucky ones. Our son is not suffering from the use of these drugs. My heart goes out to those parents who have lost a child when all they were trying to do was help relieve coughs and congestion. These companies should be made responsible.

We have since switched the entire family to homeopathic remedies. Even still, I won’t introduce immunity boosters to Noah until he is at least two, or perhaps older than that. Homeopathy costs roughly the same, is more commonly available than even a few years ago, and is wonderfully effective. After all, we all want our little ones to get better quickly.

Recommended: try Hyland’s Cold Care 4 Kids, or a child-specific homeopathic echinacea/goldenseal tincture; For adults, my husband swears by Umcka liquid for stopping colds from ever taking place.

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One Response to “Infant cold medicines pulled for overdose risk”

  1. chiropete Says:

    I totally agree with you, it is an outrage and they should be held resposible. The path you have choosen is a tough one especial when it comes to your kids. The longer you can wait to immunized your child the better, if you choose to, this allows their bodies immune system to develop and handle the vaccines better. When and if you do decide to get his boosters ask your doctor about preservative free vaccines.


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