Like many other parents, I went rooting through the medicine cabinet to figure out which medicines to keep and which to toss, following the recent decision of four drug companies to pull infant cold and cough products off the shelves. In order to figure this out, I had to hunt to find any of the names of the four companies, because few of the media are reporting them (I found mention of Johnson and Johnson, only), and I also had to hunt to find a complete list of the recalled products, because they, too, are underreported:
Dimetapp Decongestant Plus Cough Infant Drops
Dimetapp Decongestant Infant Drops
Little Colds Decongestant Plus Cough
Little Colds Multi-Symptom Cold Formula
Pediacare Infant Drops Decongestant (containing pseudoephedrine)
Pediacare Infant Drops Decongestant & Cough (containing pseudoephedrine)
Pediacare Infant Dropper Decongestant (containing phenylephrine)
Pediacare Infant Dropper Long-Acting Cough
Pediacare Infant Dropper Decongestant & Cough (containing phenylephrine)
Robitussin Infant Cough DM Drops
Triaminic Infant & Toddler Thin Strips Decongestant
Triaminic Infant & Toddler Thin Strips Decongestant Plus Cough
Tylenol Concentrated Infants' Drops Plus Cold
Tylenol Concentrated Infants' Drops Plus Cold & Cough
But in my hunt, I noticed something really interesting. I'll preface it by saying that, for at the least the last six years, if not longer, we've been hearing research that suggests that cough medicines don't work in young children, and that it's better not to give them at all. In other words, the medical truth is that they don't work. The pharmaceutical truth, however, is "shell out your money, or you won't sleep at night!" So I came upon a story - and I fully intended to post a link to it, and then boneheadedly deleted the URL and cannot find it - that explained the recall, noted that cough medicines don't work well in young children, and invited reader reaction.
Please note the reader reaction:
Posted October 12, 2007 @ 07:39 PM by RPh
If any of you had read the directions on any of these bottles you would have noted that none of these medicines have dosing for 2 years or younger. It can only be dosed by the doctor. (under 2 years old consult your doctor) By law even the pharmacist cannot dose these, although many do. Only a doctor can go "off label use" for over the counter medicines. Many parents take it on themselves to guess at the dose rather than call the Doctor or Nurse Practitioner.
Posted October 12, 2007 @ 01:51 PM by ER nurse
Being an ER nurse, I see a huge number of inappropriate treatments parents have tried on their children prior to coming to the ER. The problem is NOT the OTC drug in the hands of the conscientious parent, but rather in the hands of the careless/uneducated parent. This is a poor knee-jerk reaction. We need better education for parents overall. Removing medications meant and formulated for small children is not the answer. Adult formulated medications will now be given by uneducated parents.
Posted October 12, 2007 @ 12:26 PM by FedUp
This is crazy! Because of a few parents who may not know English or educated, the rest of us have to suffer. By banning OTC cold and cough medicines, will parents of young children now have to go to the Ped. for prescriptions? Meaning that most likely will cost more (Dr. appt co-payment, higher priced prescpt).... so over all, who's making even more money?? Seems like the FDA and the big money makers are going to be making even more out of this in the long run.
Posted October 12, 2007 @ 11:35 AM by Ron Melancon
Remember the College President that was caught drunk while driving. I think the excuse was he drank to much cold medicine. Well its a conspiracy!!!! All the College Presidents are buying all the Infant cold medicine to use during the holiday season so when they get pulled over they will use the same line.. officer I was not drinking alcohol... I consumed 50 bottles of Infant cold medicine.
Posted October 12, 2007 @ 08:58 AM by The Data is incomplete
O.K. So we had 1,500 problems over two years with almost 81,000,000 (million) bottles. The data is not accurate.. How many of these people speak english? or understand how to read? Are they here legally?? I mean if educated people know how to fill up to the line and follow directions why should we be penlized by the people who don't know how to follow directions?
Posted October 12, 2007 @ 08:21 AM by What If
Imagine if our Government acted this quickly and effectivley with problems in our Country then we would lead a better life. Imagine if other agencys acted as quickly with lets say......... The E-coli outbreaks. The Lead Paint recall The Beef Recall The peanut butter recall The Bridge Collapse in Minn. Maybe we should fire all the goverment agencys and hire the pediatric doctors to run our government then the world would be a better place Mark my words we will have an increase in the ER.
Posted October 12, 2007 @ 08:09 AM by Look at the numbers
look at the numbers. 41 million packages of these in the United States, according to the healthcare products group, about a fifth of which were sold in the form of drops that are generally targeted for use in infants. devide 81,000,000 million by 1,500 children under the age of 2 suffered complications in 2004 and 2005 What is the problem rate. Even a computer can't have a better breakdown rate. In the scope of the numbers... The sky is not falling. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Posted October 12, 2007 @ 08:06 AM by Ron Melancon
Look at this comment: There is very little evidence that cough and cold medicines are effective in young children, and there are increasing fears that they may be dangerous. From 1969 to 2006, at least 45 children died after taking decongestants, and 69 died after taking antihistamines, This year alone... We almost have 800 people who have died on the roadways of Virginia. Should we ban people on cell phones, people who don't use a seat belt or people who drive reckless?
Posted October 12, 2007 @ 08:02 AM by I feel sorry for you
I am so glad my children are now over 2 years old......... To the parents that have children under 2 years old......... Its going to be a long, long, long cold season..... You will be going to work with dark circles under your eyes . Why do we always go to the extreems... Somehow my parents never had a problem. We did not seem to have a problem in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and last year. All of a sudden we have this??? What is going on??
Posted October 12, 2007 @ 07:58 AM by Ron Melancon
Once again we have a few people (Parents) Who can't read the directions on a bottle of Childrens Cold medication now making it harder for the rest of us. The parents who are responsibe and follow the directions should be outraged when their children come down with a cold will not be able to get medication because of this. After millions and millions of parents who are sleep deprived and are going to the emergency room and causing insurance companies to pay then we will see the meds come back.
I found it interesting how quickly this group of chronic misspellers jumped to assume other people's lack of education. Not only that, but they immediately assumed that the problem was due to parents who didn't speak/read English and to parents who were in the U.S. illegally, as if there is some sort of conspiracy on the part of migrants to deny U.S. citizens their ineffective and sometimes lethal cough medicine. Further, it's pretty clear from these comments that the general concern here is not that infants and children should be protected from dangerous drugs that have been lethal in many cases, but that PARENTS should not be forced to lose sleep because someone else's kids may have died. And let me repeat - the cough medicine doesn't even work in the first place!
That said, you gotta love the one who sees in this a vast conspiracy of college presidents. Sigh. America, land of freely and bravely stupid.