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Cold Medicine Recall to Cost Parents

Posted October 31, 2007

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— Parents could end up paying for the recent recall of children's over-the-counter cold remedies.

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended that parents stop using products like Pediacare, Triaminic, Dimetapp and Robitussin on children younger than 6 because there was no evidence that the products helped alleviate cold symptoms. The medicines also could cause health problems in children because of accidental overdoses, regulators said.

Wyeth Consumer Healthcare began a voluntary recall of its Dimetapp and Robitussin products on Monday.

Dr. Dirk Hamp, a Wake Forest pediatrician, said the moves will likely force more parents to take their children to the doctor for help with colds and the flu.

"I think that everyone needs to be aware that, while these medicines have benefits, they can also have side-effects, and we should be respectful of what those side-effects may be," Hamp said. "If something good is going to come out of this, it has to do with having respect for any kind of medicine, prescription or over-the-counter medicine."

Pediatricians will end up writing more prescriptions for children to get symptom relief, he said.

John Johnson, a pharmacist at Hamlin Drugs, said the prescription drugs contain many of the same ingredients as the over-the-counter items being recalled. But the prescription will cost parents more than twice as much, he said.

"The insurance companies are going to love it, and the drug companies are going to love it because they're going to get more insurance money," mother Courtney Southerland said.

18 Comments

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  • owlady Nov 1, 2007

    I think the word of the year must be RECALL. This is overkill. Its a wonder the babyboomers have reached retirement with all this hoopla about don't do this, and don't do that. The new generation of parents must be feeling bullied by all these recalls for toys, drugs, and food these days.

  • thewayitis Nov 1, 2007

    All I can say is that I'm glad my youngest is almost 5, and I already know his dosing requirements should I need to use any of the "big kid" versions of these meds...

    I feel sorry for all of the people with little ones who they won't be able to help...When you take 'em to the doctor for a prescription, they are just as likely to pick up another ailment while they're there. That's how my oldest got rotavirus -- right at the doctor's office. Yuck....

  • rc4nc Nov 1, 2007

    At the core of this issue is the fact that because the trials/studies were performed on adults, no one can say it's fact that the medicines provide any relief for children. Only an idiot would draw that conclusion. The doctor prescribed Dimetapp for my children 30 years ago. It did more than make me feel better. I'd say the largest market for these products are children. Are they going to stop selling it to adults? Stop putting dose information for children on the lable? Most parents know when their children need a decongestant. I had to visit the doctor to get a prescription for it. Will the powers that be require a prescription for aspirin, tylenol or ibuprophen next? Who did any studies for aspirin? We all know it works.

  • Sarge Nov 1, 2007

    big brother knows best!

  • sunydaze Nov 1, 2007

    you also shouldn't give your infant a piece of gum or a small marble, they could choke! should the gov't recall all gum and marbles too? are common sense and logic too much to ask?

  • ERRN Nov 1, 2007

    Why would the insurance companies "love it" if they have to shell out $$ for Rx medication?

  • missparrothead Nov 1, 2007

    Filling Kids with Chemicals???? Oh yeah...like a proper dose of cold medicine is THAT bad for children. Obviously a few bozos out there have created this media hype to ruin it for the parents who administer it carefully. I completely agree with giving the correct dosage to your child at night to enable them to get a better night's sleep- WHY??? Because rest helps in the healing process- DUH!!

  • Leonardo Nov 1, 2007

    "Why would you give your children medicine that doesn't do any good? It's snake oil. At best, these medications do nothing except to make the parents feel better."

    But they do have some benefit. I gave them to my 1 year old daughter (doctor recommended it) because she had difficulty breathing at night and hadn't slept well in days. The cold medication made the symptoms go away enough for her to sleep through the night, which made her feel much better the next day.

  • RTPMedic Nov 1, 2007

    It comes to mind that it only takes 1 rotten apple to spoil the whole bunch...As a mother of 5, I have used cold medicine for my kids, on a limited basis. Especially when they can't sleep because they are so stopped up and can't breathe, or coughing until they are gagging. Get real and use some common sense. You can't give a child the same dose as an adult. And I even cut down the dose on the childrens dosing. And whom ever says the antihistamines/decongestants don't work on kids, needs to have some kids of their own first. And yes they are chemicals, but are chemicals to be used cautiously and on a limited basis. They are no different than RX drugs that cost an arm and a leg and then some.

  • poohperson2000 Nov 1, 2007

    justlistentome

    Somehow I do no think you keep your kid home each and everyday he has the sniffles. DO not judge others, most of us do keep our kids out when they are sick, but most of us also send them back with symtoms still lingering. A cold can take as long as two weeks to go away. Somehow I do not think you are keeping your kid home for two weeks.

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