The increase in the number of child cough syrup poisonings may be caused by several factors. These include low utility of drugs, inadequate storage of medicines and improper administration of the drugs. Thankfully, there are ways to prevent child cough syrup poisoning. This information can help paediatricians choose safer medicines to give their patients.
Child cough syrup poisoning is becoming an increasingly serious concern in India. The country is a major exporter of medicines and contributes to the US generic drug market. However, the government does not properly regulate the manufacturing process, which activists say is a major factor in child poisoning. This has led to the shut down of a cough syrup manufacturing plant in Delhi, India, after an investigation revealed 12 violations of manufacturing regulations.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, child cough syrup poisoning is on the rise. The number of cases increased by 62% from 2012 to 2019. Some of the poisonings were due to benzonatate, a non-narcotic cough medicine that can be abused and can cause fatal poisoning.
The Food and Drug Administration is considering changes to the labeling of common cough and cold medicines. Currently, several popular brands have been taken off the shelves because of the high rate of child poisonings. However, the problem of child cough and cold medicine poisoning is more likely to arise from giving medicines in excess or too frequent. In addition, cough and cold medicines that contain codeine, as is commonly the case, can cause serious respiratory problems if given to children under age 12.
In addition to benzonatate, other medications that can cause serious harm include benzonatate. This medicine is often prescribed as a safer alternative to narcotic cough syrups. Learn more about benzonatate and its dangers by visiting the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
While India is often touted as the pharmacy of the world, the quality of medicines it exports varies widely. In 2014, a study conducted by academics in the U.S. and Canada confirmed that poor quality medicines were a problem. This was especially evident in African countries, as the tragedy in Gambia showed. The pharmaceutical company, Maiden Pharmaceuticals, was distributing cough and cold syrups that were contaminated.