Over-the-counter cold medicines are dangerous for children under 6 and should not be used, a panel of health advisers reported to the FDA today. Many popular medicines, including Dimetapp, Triaminic, and Pediacare, have never been sufficiently tested on children under 12, the committee concluded. “The data that we have now is they don’t seem to work,” said one FDA expert.
The recommended ban includes medicines that contain decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines, and antitussives, the AP reports. The resolution is nonbinding, but the FDA usually follows the panel's recommendations. The ruling could lead to changes in the way cold medicines—which the industry says are used on kids nearly 4 billion times a year—are labeled, marketed, and used.