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Major consumer manufacturers of over-the-counter infant cough and cold medications recalled fourteen different infant cold meds yesterday because of the danger of overdose of these medicines in young children.

Consumer groups have long advocated changes in administering cough syrup to young children, especially two and younger. In this age group the risk of toxicity and overdose is much higher than for other age groups.

Although the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the industry trade group representing the cough syrup manufacturers, maintains that these medicines are safe at the recommended dosages, there have been an alarming number of reports of emergency room visits recorded due to overdoses since 2003. Consumer groups such as Public Citizen insist that these medicines are unsafe even at recommended levels, and have little or no clinical efficacy.

The Food and Drug Administration will meet in panel later this month to discuss cough and cold medications for children over growing complaints about their effectiveness compared to their side effects.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.

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