CBS's 'Dangerous' Cough Medicine Segment Hard to Swallow

So what "dangerous" product should you not give your children now? Cough syrup, if you were watching the October 3 "Early Show."

"They're safe if they're used properly, but so often they're not and so I consider them to be dangerous," said Dr. Alanna Levine, a pediatrician based in Englewood Hospital in New York.

The CBS segment focused on new regulations of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines for children by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but left out any representation by pharmaceutical companies or trade organizations.

Levine stressed problems with use of the product telling viewers that emergency rooms see up to 7,000 children a year, but she focused on the medicines, not on the caregivers improperly administering them to children.

"Studies show that they don't work [when used properly]," Levine said when asked if they work by Smith. "Making them drowsy is not helping cough and cold symptoms."

A "multiyear plan" is in the works to increase regulation, according to Linda Suydam, president of Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA).

Suydam said in an October 2 statement that the plan is "specifically designed to help improve the safe use of [over the counter cough and cold medicines] and reaffirm the efficacy of these medicines. The leading makers of these medicines remain committed to working with FDA and pediatric experts to ensure that parents and caregivers continue to have appropriate treatment choices for their children."

In late 2007 a number of drug makers, under threat of regulation, pulled products marketed to children under two years old.

Health Care Regulation Business Coverage CBS Early Show Video Dr. Alanna Levine

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