Cough and cold products for infants are pulled from the market

We informed you in September that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was in the process of evaluating the innocuity of cough and cold products for infants, that is to say children under the age of 2. Following a review of serious adverse effects reported over the last forty years, the agency issued the following verdict: the FDA recommends these products be withdrawn from the market. This, according to experts, is an appropriate and justifiable safety measure. However, because it is only a recommendation, product manufacturers can legally choose to continue selling them.

We informed you in September that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was in the process of evaluating the innocuity of cough and cold products for infants, that is to say children under the age of 2. Following a review of serious adverse effects reported over the last forty years, the agency issued the following verdict: the FDA recommends these products be withdrawn from the market. This, according to experts, is an appropriate and justifiable safety measure. However, because it is only a recommendation, product manufacturers can legally choose to continue selling them.

As for Health Canada, it has issued recommendations on the appropriate use of cough and cold products in children. However, it has refrained from requesting these products be removed from the market, and has not retracted the market authorization for their sale in Canada.

In the United States and in Canada, a number of manufacturers have elected to voluntarily remove their cough and cold products for infants from the market.

It is important to note that this withdrawal does not apply to drop-form products that exclusively contain acetaminophen, such as Tylenol, or ibuprofen, such as Advil and Motrin. These products are considered safe and effective, provided they are administered in the recommended doses, and used in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations.

This voluntary withdrawal actually confirms what we invariably recommend: you should always consult a family physician or paediatrician before administering any over-the-counter medication to a child, regardless of their age.

Taking a few minutes to speak with your pharmacist before purchasing any over-the-counter medication is the only way to avoid potentially damaging adverse effects. And remember, this applies to children and adults alike. Your pharmacist’s response could surprise you. Because sometimes, the only solution is to simply let time take its course. There is no remedy for the common cold, only plenty of rest and fluids will do the trick! Drugs and medications are not necessarily the answers to everything!

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