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Kids should avoid ingesting cough and cold products with opioids: Health Canada

Last Updated Feb 18, 2019 at 11:42 am PDT

Summary

Children and teens under the age of 18 shouldn't use over-the-counter cough and cold products containing opioids

A recent study done by the federal government suggests these products may lead to difficulties with substance abuse

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Health Canada has issued a safety advisory against cough syrups containing opioids.

It is warning children and teens under the age of 18 shouldn’t use over-the-counter cough and cold products containing the opioids codeine, normethadone and hydrocodone.

A recent study done by the federal government suggests these products may lead to difficulties dealing with substance abuse later on in life.

It also detected limited evidence to support the effectiveness of the cough and cold medicines for children.

However, they did say there was no strong evidence linking cough and cold products that contain opioids with opioid use disorders.

They recommend parents ask their health care professional about alternatives.

While most codeine products do require a prescription, however, there are some over-the counter products that contain a low dose of codeine.

Manufacturers are now being asked to update product safety information to reflect this recommendation.