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Baby cough medicines pulled from shelves

The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has ordered six cough syrups for under twos to be immediately removed from open shelves.

The Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) reviewed a series of reports from the USA where children had become ill after cough medicine overdoses.

The products to be removed include Asda Children's Chesty Cough Syrup, Boots Chesty Cough Syrup and CalCough Chesty.

The syrups, however, can still be used for older children.

The MHRA have instead advised parents to use paracetamol to lower an infant's temperature and a simple glycerol, honey or lemon syrup to treat their cough.

The pharmaceutical industry are to remove dosage instructions for children aged under 2 years.

Chair of the CHM Paediatric Medicines Expert Advisory Group Rosalind Symth said: "Coughs and colds are generally self limiting conditions which will get better themselves usually within a few days.

"The management of symptoms in the under 2s is best achieved with treatment to control fever (ibuprofen or paracetamol), together with simple cough mixtures."


Your comments:
(Terms and conditions apply)

"Yes. I agreed that cough syrups should not be used for children under the age of 2" - Pat Morah, Essex

"These should have been reclassified as pharmacy only medicines, so that correct advice on use can be provided by a pharmacist. Withdrawing these medications is likely to have a massive impact on primary care services, including GP, A&E and walk in centres. Furthermore, will these actions not actually increase risk of overdose or misuse? These medications are still available for children of 2 yrs and over, and without dosage instructions for under 2s. Is it not possible that parents will  continue to buy these preparations anyway - especilly if they have found them effective in the past?" - Jo Whitehead, ANP - Primary care