FDA warning: Keep kids away from certain cough medicines - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

FDA warning: Keep kids away from certain cough medicines

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKOW) -- It's cold and flu season, but the FDA wants you to keep your kids away from certain cough medicines.

The Food and Drug Administration will now require labeling changes on prescription opioid medicines that contain codeine or hydrocodone. The FDA says there are serious risks to anyone under 18 which outweigh any potential benefit.

With the labeling changes, the FDA says these products will no longer be acceptable for use to treat cough in children and will be labeled only for use in adults 18 and older. The new labeling will also include updated safety information for adults. 

The FDA wants to warn the public about the risk of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose, death, and slowed or difficult breathing that can happen with codeine and hydrocodone.

In a news release, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. said, “Given the epidemic of opioid addiction, we’re concerned about unnecessary exposure to opioids, especially in young children. We know that any exposure to opioid drugs can lead to future addiction. It’s become clear that the use of prescription, opioid-containing medicines to treat cough and cold in children comes with serious risks that don’t justify their use in this vulnerable population. It’s critical that we protect children from unnecessary exposure to prescription cough medicines containing codeine or hydrocodone. At the same time we’re taking steps to help reassure parents that treating the common cough and cold is possible without using opioid-containing products.”

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