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FDA restricts use of cough and cold medicines with codeine or hydrocodone for kids

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said today that cough and cold medicines containing codeine and hydrocodone should not be prescribed to children and adolescents because of serious safety risks posed by the opioid ingredients. The FDA also announced that such products will now be required to carry "boxed warnings" – the FDA’s strongest warning – that highlight the risks misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose, death, and slowed or difficult breathing.

According to the FDA, it is taking this action after an extensive review that determined the risks associated with these medicines outweigh their benefits in patients younger than 18.

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