Let me begin by stating that I generally prefer to avoid drugs for me and my children. We try the home remedy/suffering route first. But we have used those cold medicines in the past, not so much cough meds, but definitely decongestants and antihistamines.
I'm very unclear just where the danger lies, as many articles state that overdosing reactions and/or death were often the result of the parents not administering the medication appropriately. (emphasis added)
. . . parents must follow the directions, said Dr. Maria Fisher, an Arlington pediatrician. The biggest mistake parents make is failing to read the whole label. They give their child a multisymptom medication that contains a decongestant, antihistamine and acetaminophen. Then they give the child Tylenol for a fever. They end up in the emergency room with a hyper, wired, screaming child who has overdosed on acetaminophen.
And I'm not at all confident that our government-sponsored drug overseers are the ones properly qualified to handle, well, any of this matter. And I'm not the biggest fan of the American Academy of Pediatrics either. Or the AMA for that matter. But I digress.
I read another article about the medication recall tonight and I'm very concerned about this passage (emphasis added):
Food and Drug Administration officials are also considering banning antihistamines for those younger than 6 and decongestants for children younger than 2.
Antihistamines to avoid in small children include diphenhydramine, brompheniramine and chlorpheniramine.
(Diphenhydramine is Benadryl.)
Um, excuse me? I get really concerned when I read the word "banned" because I'm not sure if they mean "remove it from OTC status and make it a prescription" or "children under 6 may not have antihistamines." I don't know enough about how this whole drug apparatus really really works. It has to be the first definition, right? Prescriptions will still be available--right? Ryan needs Benadryl on hand as surely as he needs Epipens, so I must assume that he'll still be able to get it--and that his younger sister can get it if she needs it.
I'm just scratching my head here--should I begin stockpiling Benadryl now? Help me if you know more about this--where I can see some actual numbers (not media-reported numbers)? How many studies? How were the studies designed? What were the sample sizes? Why is this a big deal suddenly, or has it been creeping up for a while? Was the Sudafed ban just the beginning?
I need to understand this because this will significantly--and negatively--impact the lives of my kids and our whole family. Have I really been putting my children's health in danger by giving them these medicines in the past, or is this recall coming from an overabundance of caution because some parents have made terrible, tragic mistakes?