In Oct. 2007, over-the-counter cough and cold medications made for infants under the age of 2 were removed from the market because of a link to emergency visits. Then, in 2008, labeling on these medications was revised to clearly state that the medications should not be used in children 4 years of age. A new study just published in the journal Pediatrics shows that these restrictions worked.
The study looked at all the ER visits related to cough and cold medication medications in kids younger than 12 years old from 2004-2011. The analysis showed that fewer kids went to U.S. emergency departments for reactions related to over-the-counter cough and cold medicine after manufacturers printed new warnings on medicine bottles, says a new government study.
In children under age 2, there was about a 50 percent decrease. In 2- to 3-year-olds, there was about a 30 percent decrease. As expected, there was no significant reduction in emergency visits among children 4- to 11-year olds.
Dr. Georgiou says much of the success can be attributed to the integrated effort made by the pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, the specialty societies and the media. There was a consistent message that was clearly communicated. Parents heard the message, and fewer infants and young children are having negative effects from medications that don't even seem to work.