Overdose Fears Prompt Recall of Infant Drugs

Danger found in cough and cold medicines for kids under 2
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2007 12:42 PM CDT
CVS pharmacy, seen here in this Feb. 1, 2007, file photo, is the first national chain to announce the removal of the offending products from store shelves. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, file)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Several drugmakers have recalled over-the-counter cough and cold products for infants over concerns about fatal overdoses, Reuters reports. Johnson & Johnson Wyeth and Novartis are among those recalling medicines; CVS said it will remove the products and generic equivalents. One professor took the criticism one step further: “There are really no good studies demonstrating that these medications work.”

The trade association representing the companies stressed the drugs are safe when used as directed; Food and Drug Administration reviewers have called for warnings saying the medicines are unsafe for very young children. Fifty-four deaths with decongestants and 69 with antihistamines were reported in 1969-2006. The FDA will meet with outside advisers before making firm decisions on new instructions.