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Cough and Cold Medication Label Change Prevents ED Visits

In October 2007, manufacturers voluntarily withdrew cough and cold medicine (CCM) for children and changed their labels, warning parents that the medications were not meant for children under the age of 4. This action seems to have had drastic effects on pediatric emergency room visits, The New York Times’ Well blog reports. The finding is based on a study in Pediatrics that used National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance data from 2004 to 2011 to estimate the number of emergency room visits due to CCM use before and after the 2007 withdrawal. Researchers found that CCM visits dropped from 4.1% of all hospital visits to 2.4% in children under the age of 2 and from 9.5% to 6.5% in 2-3 year olds. Health care providers also urge parents to keep medicines out of the reach of children, who often ingest them when “the parents’ backs are turned.”

Read the article published by The New York Times’ Well blog.

Read the study in Pediatrics.