The ongoing investigation about the safety of infant cough syrups has lead to a recall of many products today.
The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), on behalf of the leading U.S. makers of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, announced Thursday the voluntary market withdrawals of oral cough and cold medicines that refer to “infants.” The withdrawal affects only “infant” oral medicines, not those labeled for use in children age two and older.
It isn’t immediately clear whether the recall will apply to the Canadian market. At least one manufacturer, McNeil Consumer Health, said its Markham-based Canadian headquarters would be issuing a statement Thursday afternoon.
The affected products in the U.S. are:
- Dimetapp® Decongestant Plus Cough Infant Drops
- Dimetapp® Decongestant Infant Drops
- Little Colds® Decongestant Plus Cough
- Little Colds® Multi-Symptom Cold Formula
- Robitussin® Infant Cough DM Drops
- Triaminic® Infant & Toddler Thin Strips® Decongestant
- Triaminic® Infant & Toddler Thin Strips® Decongestant Plus Cough
- TYLENOL® Concentrated Infants’ Drops Plus Cold
- TYLENOL® Concentrated Infants’ Drops Plus Cold & Cough
- PEDIACARE® Infant Drops Decongestant (containing pseudoephedrine)
- PEDIACARE® Infant Drops Decongestant & Cough (containing pseudoephedrine)
- PEDIACARE® Infant Dropper Decongestant (containing phenylephrine)
- PEDIACARE® Infant Dropper Long-Acting Cough
- PEDIACARE® Infant Dropper Decongestant & Cough (containing phenylephrine)
The PEDIACARE brand is not available in Canada.
“These medicines are — and always have been –safe at recommended doses,” said Linda A. Suydam, president of CHPA. “These voluntary actions are being taken out of an abundance of caution. The vast majority of parents and caregivers safely use these medicines to help relieve their children’s symptoms.”
The Canadian Paediatric Society advises that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should NOT be given to children younger than three years old unless prescribed by their doctor.
They note that decongestants taken by mouth are not very effective and can cause rapid heartbeat or insomnia in children. They also have no effect on coughing.
“Except for pain and fever drugs, there is no proof that [cough and cold medicines] work. In fact, some of the side effects can make your child feel even worse,” the Society warns on its website.