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Codeine Still Prescribed to Children, Given Equal Alternatives
DAYTON -- When kids get sick, parents just want their little ones to get better; but certain medicines can potentially be deadly.aa recent study found. Doctors issue anywhere between 559,000 to 877,000 prescriptions of codeine in a given year to children, which goes against the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
"I just can't stop coughing," said Brody who is just six. He has a bad cough, and is hoping Dr. David Roer can get to the bottom of it.
"I don't like to give medicine unless it's absolutely necessary. We just tried to keep him propped up and as possible," said Brody's mother, Beth Davisson.
Whatever Dr. Roer decides is best for Brody's cough, he says it would never be codeine.
"We have not used it for years... the codeine can really surpress your breathing ability," said Dr. Roer who runs the Pediatric Associates of Dayton.
It is even linked with kids' deaths, so that is why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against prescribing codeine to kids. Turns out, nationwide, many doctors in hospitals still are. A new study in the Journal, Pediatrics, suggests while the numbers have decreased over the last decade, there are hundreds of thousands of prescriptions written in a given year. Dr. Roer says it just happened locally when a young child went to an adult hospital ER.
"Because the parents were concerned about the cough... the physician in the emergency room gave tylenol with codeine to control the cough. Something that we wouldn't do," Dr. Roer explained.
What is more surprising, studies show other medications like Advil and Motrin are just as effective. Dr. Roer says it is just a matter of spreading the message beyond the pediatric medical community.
As a parent, Beth Davisson can only hope for that saying, "I definitely wouldn't want my child to be getting that."
If seeing your Pediatrician is not an option, Dr. Roer says take your child to an ER like Dayton Children's.
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