The FDA has announced new requirements for the labeling of prescription cough and cold medicines that contain opioids, indicating that they should no longer be given to children under the age of 18. The FDA says the new requirements were implemented because the risks of such medicines outweigh the benefits. Prescription opioids are highly addictive.
“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,” said the Commissioner of the FDA Commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
The FDA also warned against the use of such medicine by women who are currently breastfeeding.
Parents of children currently using such prescription medication should consult with their doctors about other options, according to the FDA. The agency also recommends reading labels closely as some over-the-counter cold medications contain opioids such as codeine, and may not be suitable for children younger than 18.