Children’s Cough Medicine May Be Dangerous
Drug companies willing to shove anything down our throats — literally — if a new report is to be believe. That's because an active ingredient found in most over-the-counter cough syrups can be dangerous for some children, according to Healthy Child.
The ingredient, Dextromethorphan, or DXM cannot be metabolized properly by about 10% of children that do not possess the proper enzymes. There is no way of knowing which children fall into this category, making it risky to administer to children.
The FDA determined that all OTC cough medicines were unsafe to give to children in 2008 as a result of this ingredient, but how far has that word spread? Have drug companies done anything to deter parents from administering cough medicines to kids? Most of the information to date has been about dosing errors, not the ingredients themselves being harmful…
So, where does that leave consumers? We now have one more thing to add to the ever-growing list of drugs to avoid and will continue to strain our eyes checking the microscopic list of active ingredients for DXM. It seems like a near impossibility to keep up, and who wants to sit in a store reading labels all day?
Natural cough remedies might be a solution, but requires consumers to either research on their own or see if their pediatricians have a suggestion and many people may just not take that step. Especially if the consumer knowledge about DXM continues to be limited.
Of course we could rely on drug companies to modify their formulary to exclude dangerous ingredients. But we all know that'll probably never happen. Or maybe a huge warning label that says “THIS PRODUCT CONTAINS DXM” in big block letters? And what about people who don't know what DXM is? Such a label wouldn't be helpful.
What is most alarming, however, is that DXM is in nearly every OTC cough syrup product and somehow the word hasn’t spread about how dangerous this product might be…
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