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News2008April › Cough Remedy: It's a killer when wrongly prescribed › April 2008

Cough Remedy: It's a killer when wrongly prescribed

Children and adults have died after taking a simple cough remedy - but it's been the fault of the doctor who has incorrectly prescribed it

Children and adults have died after taking a simple cough remedy - but it's been the fault of the doctor who has incorrectly prescribed it. Health regulators have discovered that children who were too young had been prescribed the medication, while adults had been told to take a dose that was too powerful.

Labelling has been changed to highlight the correct usage of the medication, Tussionex Pennkinetic Extended-Release Suspension, which contains hydrocodone. The drug has been licensed for use among children older than six years, but doctors have been regularly prescribing to younger children. It should also be taken no more than once every 12 hours but, again, doctors have been recommending a more aggressive regime.

(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2008; 299: 1891).


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