World Health Organization on Wednesday Alert issued on four fever, cold-cough medicine Made by an Indian company after the death of 66 children in The Gambia. “Laboratory analysis of samples of each of the four products confirms that they contain unacceptable amounts of diethylene glycol and ethylene glycol as contaminants. To date, four of these products have been identified in The Gambia, but may be distributed through informal markets, to other countries or regions,” WHO said.
According to sources, the samples tested by WHO were found to contain diethylene glycol or ethylene glycol which can cause serious side effects including stomach pain. VomitingDiarrhea, inability to urinate, alternate mental states and acute kidney injury. “The substandard products referenced in this alert are unsafe and their use, especially in children, could result in serious injury or death.”
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Thus, are cough syrup, In general, safe for children? We reached out to the experts to go deeper.
According to Dr. Meena Jayaram, Pediatrician, Aakash Healthcare, “Cough medicines, especially over-the-counter cough syrups, should not be given to children, especially children under the age of two. This is because they cause serious side effects. And we have seen incidents when children had to be hospitalized due to serious complications due to cough syrup. Thus, OTC cough syrups should be completely avoided.”
Agreed, Dr. Ranjit Ghuliani, Pediatrician at Sharda Hospital said that most cough syrups contain three to four different chemicals. “Some of them are anti-histamines and antitussives – those that suppress cough in the central part of the brain. Most of these drugs are not recommended for children under the age of two. In fact, some of the most common cough syrups you see come with a warning label stating that they are not intended for young children (under 2 years old).
According to Dr Pradeep Agarwal, Unit Head and Senior Consultant, Pediatrician, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, these are not recommended, as most cough syrups have more than one ingredient and “not all of them may be needed for a child.” Is”. “At most, they can only be given anti-allergy drugs. Also, it is best to treat its cause. cough, In particular, there is no definite cough syrup for every type of cough,” he added. indianexpress.com,
possible side effects
According to child health experts, cough syrup should be avoided as it can cause mild to severe side effects on children. Jayaram said, “There may be mild side effects like excessive sleepiness, restlessness, low sugar level, electrolyte imbalance etc. Said Dr Jayaram.
“They can cause sedation, brain suppression and, sometimes, suppression in the child. breathing pattern. A young infant, who is not able to communicate very well, can face dire consequences,” said Dr Guliani.
Are they safe for children over the age of two?
Experts say that while children below two years of age should completely avoid cough syrups, they also need to be given judiciously to older children. “Above two years, they are relatively safe if given in the correct dosage. It also depends on what kind of formulation it is. If it contains a plain and simple anti-histamine and a drug called dextromethorphan, then These drugs do not have serious side effects in children above two years of age,” said Dr Guliani.
They can also have potential side effects on adults, he said. Dr Jayaram explained, “OTC cough syrups are known to be addictive due to the presence of anti-histamines. Some of them also contain opioid components that can cause dizzy, blockage or sleepiness. If cough and cold are not bothering them much, then elders should also not consume them.
What should be done?
As we know that common cold and cough in children. So, what can be a safe replacement for the commonly used cough syrup? “Home remedies can help to some extent, as can sips of hot water and other warm liquids, such as tea, Ginger honey syrup. Steam inhalation, oral saline water sip etc are some other methods,” said Dr Agarwal.
Dr. Jayaram cautions against using any medicine without your child’s pediatrician’s prescription. “Most viral infections can persist for a long time. But if they’re not together fever or severe cough, they do not need to be treated aggressively. Nasal spray can be used to keep the nose clear and avoid choking. Symptomatically, we give Paracetamol to relieve the symptoms of cold and cough. Sometimes, a humidifier or a nebulizer should help with most of the prevalent colds and coughs. In select cases, we need stronger medicines to get rid of the cough,” she said.
According to Dr Ghuliani, it is important to note that coughing is good as the child expels the excessive secretions produced in the body during infection. “You must remember that this is a good protective reflex. So it doesn’t need to be suppressed. What we generally suggest is that when a baby is sleeping in a closed room, you get a proper steamer Steam inhalation really helps babies out. We also ask parents to manage nasal congestion by instilling saline nasal drops,” he added indianexpress.com,
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