22-Oct-12 8:00 AM  CST

FDA Warns of Codeine Risk in Some Kids After Surgery

The Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning concerning the risk of death when codeine is used after surgery.  Three children died and one child experienced a life-threatening bout of respiratory depression due to taking codeine after oral surgery to remove their tonsils and/or adenoids.  The children endured the surgeries to treat obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.         

The lowest dose of codeine should be used in children after they go through surgery and given for the least amount of time.  If a child is given too much codeine the following signs may be present:  unusual sleepiness, difficulty being woken up, confusion, and noisy or difficult breathing.  Codeine can be found in many prescriptions, mostly used to treat pain or cough.  

“The FDA is currently conducting a review of adverse event reports and other information to determine if there are additional cases of inadvertent overdose of death in children taking codeine, and if these adverse events occur during treatment of other kinds of pain, such as post-operative pain following other types of surgery or procedures,” said Bob Rappaport, M.D., director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. 

Pharmacy Technicians can pass on this valuable drug information to their pharmacist and/or pharmacy co-workers and can benefit from new and updated drug information so they may keep up to date on the latest pharmacy news.

1. Pharmacy Practice News Reports.  “FDA Warns of Risk for Death From Codeine Use in Some Children Following Surgeries.”  Pharmacy Practice News. Web.  19 Oct 2012. 

2.  Liscinsky, Morgan.  “FDA Warns of Risk of Death from Codeine Use in Some Children.”  FDA.  Web.  15 Aug 2012.

For additional information on this article, please contact:
Jennifer O'Reilly
Source: NPTAnews  

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