WASHINGTON (AP) - Drug makers pulled cold medicines targeted for babies and toddlers off the market Thursday, leaving parents to find alternatives for hacking coughs and runny little noses just as fall sniffles get in full swing.
The move represented a pre-emptive strike by over-the-counter drug manufacturers - a week before government advisers were to debate the medicines' fate. But it doesn't end concern about the safety of these remedies for youngsters.
Thursday's withdrawal includes medicines aimed at children under age 2, after the Food and Drug Administration and other health groups reported deaths linked to the remedies in recent years, primarily from unintentional overdoses.
A remaining question is whether children under 6 should ever take these nonprescription drugs.
Baltimore city officials filed a petition with the FDA - joined by the Maryland chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and prominent pediatricians around the country - arguing that oral cough and cold medicines don't work in children so young, and pose health risks not just for babies but for preschoolers, too. (See entire article here.)