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.
“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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