Cough Medicines and Children

Starting in 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began a campaign against the use of cough medicines for children. In February of 2009, they issued FDA Patient Safety News: Show #83 entitled ‘New Labels for Non-prescription Cough and Cold Medicines.’ They advise parents not to administer medicine to children that is labeled for adults. The directive contains other warnings for parents such as the importance of reading and understanding the label that gives the dosage and time for administering it. All of these actions were prompted by the fact that children have become ill as a result of improper dosage.

The FDA is also concerned about the use of cough medicines by children without parental knowledge or consent. Some over the counter cough suppressants contain dextromethorphan or DXM. While DXM is safe when taken in the recommended fifteen to thirty milligram dose, when taken in large quantities as abusers do, it can result in a quick buzz. But it is also dangerous with many side effects such as impaired judgment, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, seizures, and brain damage.

These medications do not cure a cold they merely relieve the symptoms. They don’t even reduce the amount of time the child is ill. Prescription medications are always accompanied by a fact sheet from the pharmacist stating directions for using, and noting any possible side effects. Plus the pharmacist will usually explain all of this information to the person picking up the prescription.

While over the counter medications contain the same information, consumers are not as likely to read it. And this is important when administering medication to a child. The parent should at least read and understand the basics such as how much to administer this, when to give it and how often it can be given. Parents should also pay attention to whether it should be given before eating, after eating, with food, with water or without. It is important to read about side effects so that you can recognize them if they should occur.

Parents are also advised to keep a written log stating the medicine or medicines being administered, the amount of each dose and the time it was given. If it becomes necessary to take the child to a doctor or to a hospital, the log should be taken along for the doctor to see. When medicating children there are some crucial do’s and don’ts. Don’t give medicine to a child under four years of age without a doctor’s permission. Don’t give or allow anyone else to give aspirin to a child under eighteen years of age. Aspirin can trigger Reyes Syndrome, a serious condition that can result in seizures, brain damage and death. Do be sure to educate children on the importance of this. Don’t give adult medications to children. Medicine affects children’s systems differently than adults. All headache, fever, and cold medicines are available in products formulated especially for children. Don’t administer both prescription and over-the-counter remedies without your doctor’s knowledge. And finally, clean out your medicine cabinet and get rid of anything past the expiry date.

Teen Drug Abuse – The Dangers of Cough Medicine Abuse – Robo-Tripping

Robo tripping is one of the street names for cough medicine abuse, a growing form of drug abuse. Sometimes referred to as “robo-tripping”, cough medicine abuse has increased dramatically in recent years. Whether in syrup form or tablet form, teenagers and children often consume huge and potentially lethal doses of cough medicine in their quest to get high from Dextromethorphan, which is an active ingredient capable of offering relief from coughs.

According to a recent study by the National Institute of Drug Abuse involving over 48,000 students, out of the ten most common drugs being abused by those in 12th grade, at least seven are either available over the counter or else they are prescribed. Hardly surprising perhaps, but cough medicine ranks relatively high.

Astonishingly enough, kids frequently take up to fifty times the recommended dose when robo-tripping in order to get the desired results. These results include going into a trance like state, hallucinating or “tripping”. However, it comes as little surprise that in some circumstances, such a significant dose can prove to be fatal.

Understanding the Effects & Risks

Contrary to what some may believe, cough medicine abuse is without a doubt just as dangerous as any illegal drugs. Because of the very nature of DXM (Dextromethorphan), the effects vary depending on the dosage taken and most abusers compare the effects to different plateaus. While some teenagers describe it as a very mild stimulant, others may experience hallucinations or even total dissociation from the body. In fact, because DXM’s only produce effects when such huge doses are taken, The line is thin between attaining a trance or zoning out and losing consciousness.

Because of the way in which the drug effects one’s visual perception and cognitive processes, coupled with the fact that these effects can last for up to six hours, abusers are at risk of causing injury to themselves and others while under the influence. Judgment and impulse control may be affected.

Essentially, large doses of DXM can produce alarming effects such as the inability to move one’s arms or legs, or even the inability to talk. In fact, such high doses may also result in slow breathing, cerebral hemorrhages, brain damage, stroke, or even death. Furthermore, if the drug is abused when one is over exerting oneself, such as in nightclubs or raves, or if it’s abused in an exceptionally warm environment, the abuser is at risk of hypothermia.

In addition to the serious risks already mentioned above, DXM abuse can also result in nausea, irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, head pains, abdominal pain, loss of feeling in fingers and toes, unconsciousness, seizures and death.

There are literally thousands of overdose cases reported by the emergency services across the country and according to the authorities, there seems to be a tendency for DXM overdoses to occur in clusters as word regarding the drug spreads through different schools within a community.

Robo -Tripping Effects One Should Look Out For:

-Drowsiness, or confusion
-Increased heartbeat
-Dizziness or blurred vision
-Hallucinations
-Lack of coordination, or slurred speech
-Numbness in fingers and toes
-Nausea vomiting, or abdominal pain

They say that prevention is better than cure, and this is particularly true when it comes to substance abuse. Whether or not you suspect abuse, all responsible parents should discuss the matter with their kids. Highlighting the dangers of cough medicines and other over the counter drugs at an early stage may well result in you preventing such a scenario from developing. Likewise, if you do have reason to suspect your child is involved, you need to confront them immediately and make your concerns known. Depending on the circumstances, it may also be advisable to involve a counselor or even the family doctor.

Natural Remedies Against Cough – 3 Easy Steps

If your baby or child is coughing it can be nerve wrecking for everyone involved. Getting up in the middle of the night when all you want to do is turn over and sleep is sometimes extremely aggravating and you must practice patience and lots of love to get through a period of coughing. You don’t have to rely on medicine from your local pharmacy to do something about the cough. In fact, there are great natural remedies against cough that you can apply right now. Read on and learn what you can do to treat your child’s cough, at home and without medicine!

Onion

This is a well-known trick and you’ve probably heard about it. If you never tried it before now is the time! Onion is a wonderful natural remedy against cough. All you have to do is chop a few pieces of onion and place them in a bowl or in a plate. Put this plate in your child’s room. It should be placed far away from where he actually sleeps since the smell of the onion can be quite strong and fragrant. The principle is pretty simple; the onion will attract whatever is making your child cough. Sound strange? It is, but it works and that is all we care about when our children are coughing all the way through the night!

Olive Oil and Salt

This is a natural remedy against cough which has its roots in the Far East. You take a little bit of olive oil and add some salt. Heat the oil till the salt has dissolved. When the oil is touchable you take it in your hand and rub the mixture on your child’s chest. This is a wonderful remedy for cough and it works whether your child is coughing dry or with mucus. You can apply it when your child wakes up from the coughing and before he goes to sleep. It is safe and effective!

Sleeping Position

Another great advice for how to make your child sleep with a cough is to place him on his tummy. Children often start coughing as lots of mucus and snot collects in the airways and to make it easier for them to sleep you should place them on their tummy. It is also good if the child can use a pillow and sleep with the head slightly raised. To make this work well you should check in on your baby every now and then and adjust the sleeping position.

These are some of the very best natural remedies for cough and they have proven to work both for Moms all over the world. Something you must remember when it comes to cough is that you need to act with a lot of patience and understand not to play around with your child’s health. If that cough has a deep and scary sound it is not smart to play around with your own mixtures of cough medicine. Go and see an MD that can listen to your child’s lungs and assess the situation. Natural remedies are great and should be used but never at the expense of your child’s health!