According to new guidelines released by Health Canada, children and teens should not consume cough products with opioids since that might boost the chances of addiction to those substances later in life.
“Following a safety review of cough and cold products containing opioids, Health Canada is advising that Canadian children and adolescents should not use cough and cold products containing codeine, hydrocodone, and normethadone, as a precautionary measure,” Health Canada reported.
“While the review did not find any strong evidence linking cough and cold products that contain opioids with opioid use disorders in children and adolescents, it did find that the early use of opioids may be a factor in problematic substance use later in life,” the agency continued.
Before releasing new guidelines, Health Canada also warned about the use of cold and cough products in children below the age of six. The agency also advised parents to administer such medications with caution in older kids, too.
Health Canada Warned Children And Teens Not To Consume Cough Products With Opioids
“Serious harm, including misuse, overdose and side-effects may occur in children under six years of age when using over-the-counter cough and cold products, although the risk of such serious harm is low,” stated Health Canada in the new guidelines.
As for codeine products for breathing problems, Health Canada has already recommended doctors and parents not to administer that substance in children below the age of 12. Codeine is one of the most common opioids in cough products, and it might cause addiction
“As a prudent regulator, I think it’s a good idea to use it with caution because Health Canada’s right, there are not a lot of data that says it’s effective and not a lot of data saying it’s safe. There are probably individual patients who could benefit, but that requires an astute clinician making a judgment on a patient they know well and using a drug that they’re very familiar with. Without that, I think it’s a bit of Russian roulette, and I don’t think it’s a game we should be playing with our adolescents,” Dr. Michael Rieder from the Canadian Pediatric Society said for CTV News.