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Cough medicines for children removed from shelves

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A series of cough and cold medicines for children under two years of age are to be removed from shelves because of the risk of overdoses.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s Commission on Human Medicines and has advised that treatments containing certain active ingredients are not suitable for children under the age of two.

The MHRA recommends parents and carers should treat coughs and colds in children with paracetamol or ibuprofen and use a simple cough syrup.

Treatments containing the antihistamines brompheniramine, chlorphenamine and diphenhydramine and the antitussives dextromethorphan and pholcodine will no longer be licensed for children under the age of two.

Products containing the expectorants guaifenesin and ipecacuanha and the decongestants phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, oxymetazoline and xylometazoline will also be subject to the same restrictions.

The recommendations were made following research in the US showing a risk of overdose if parents and caregivers became confused about the correct dose or administered more than one product containing the same active ingredient.

The following products targeted at children under two will be removed from shelves, although they can be supplied under the supervision of a pharmacist to older children: Asda Children’s Chesty Cough Syrup, Boots Chesty Cough Syrup, Boots Sore Throat and Cough Linctus 1 Year Plus, Buttercup Infant Cough Syrup, Calcough Chesty and Bell’s Children’s Chesty Cough.
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