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Makers of cough and cold medication for infants announced Thursday that they are pulling their drugs off the self.

According to the F.D.A from 1969 to 2006, at least 45 children died in the United States after taking decongestants, and 69 children died after taking antihistamines.

The reason these medications can be deadly to infants is due to the risk of overdosing. Many of these drugs come in drop form and the child can easily be given too much medication. The Food and Drug Administration is urging manufacturers to consider an outright ban of over-the-counter cough and cold products for children under 6.

Dianne Murphy, director of the agency’s office of pediatric therapeutics, said in an interview that in addition to asking basic questions about the drugs’ safety and effectiveness, the agency intended to question the experts closely about the advisability of combination medicines. It will also explore how to address accurate dosing when there are a dizzying array of measuring devices, some provided by the manufacturers and some not.

“These measuring devices, we would hope that is an area that would change,” Dr. Murphy said.

The experts will also consider whether children from 2 to 6 should be given these medicines


For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.

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