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Family

Cold Medicine Recall to Cost Parents

Posted October 31, 2007 5:58 p.m. EDT
Updated October 31, 2007 6:51 p.m. EDT

— 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.