FDA: Children, breastfeeding women should avoid codeine medicine - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

FDA: Children, breastfeeding women should avoid codeine medicines

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The Food and Drug Administration is issuing its strongest warning yet against the usage of codeine and tramadol medications for children. 

Codeine is used to treat pain and coughing, often in cough syrup form. Tramadol is also often prescribed for pain. In an update to a warning first issued in 2013, the FDA said Thursday they will require several changes to the labels of prescription medications containing the drugs.

Children under age 12 should not use codeine or tramadol medications at all, and a new warning said children younger than 18 shouldn't receive tramadol after surgery to remove tonsils or adenoids. Another new warning said children between age 12 and 18 who are obese or suffer from sleep apnea or lung conditions should avoid the drugs, as they could exacerbate breathing issues. 

A warning against breastfeeding mothers using medications with either drug has also been strengthened, since effects like excessive sleepiness or breathing issues could cause the death of an infant. 

Read the full updated warning here

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