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No codeine for kids’ coughs, pain, pediatrics group warns

Tue, Sep 20, 2016

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently warned against prescribing codeine for children, citing potential dangerous side effects that can include death.

 

The academy’s warning, published in its medical journal, Pediatrics, is similar to those from the Food and Drug Administration about using codeine for kids’ coughs or pain.

 

The risks of prescribing codeine for treating children’s coughs or pain include breathing difficulties (respiratory depression) and death. The academy report cites an FDA review that found 21 codeine-related deaths in children younger than 12 and 64 cases of severe breathing problems over five decades.

 

“Despite these concerns and the potential hazards, codeine continues to be widely available from many pharmacies and inpatient hospital formularies for use in outpatient pediatric settings and is commonly prescribed to pediatric patients,” the academy says.

 

The academy’s warnings are worth heeding, said Dr. Ryan Murphy, an emergency medicine physician with BayCare Clinic in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Murphy wasn’t involved in the academy’s study and warning.

 

“Our first responsibility as healthcare providers is to protect the health and wellness of our patients. If there are safer options to treating patients – medications, procedures, etc. – we owe it to them to present those options with a clear explanation of the added benefits,” Murphy said.

 

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About BayCare Clinic

BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. With its 100-plus physicians, BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, serving clinical locations in 13 regional communities. Based in Green Bay, Wis., BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

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BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.