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Doctors still prescribing codeine for kids, despite safety issues

MGN Online
Monday, April 21, 2014 - 10:45am

Many doctors are still prescribing codeine for children, despite safety concerns. At least, that's what a new study published in the Journal Pediatrics found.

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco looked at emergency room visits among children between the ages of three and 17 from 2001 to 2010. They found overall the number of codeine prescriptions decreased slightly during that time.

However, they found the odds of codeine prescription were higher among children eight to 12 years old and among providers outside the northeast. Researchers say they didn't see a decline in codeine prescriptions for patients with cough or upper respiratory infections.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended against prescribing codeine to children. Researchers say the drug can be fatal in some cases to some children and may be ineffective in other cases.


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