Monday, August 22, 2011

On drugs...

As I was writing my post about Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child, I went looking for more information on the FDA's recent recommendations for changing the labeling of infant and children's Tylenol (acetaminophen is the generic drug name in the U.S. but it's known as paracetamol elsewhere in the world).  I am outraged.  Here's the scoop.

The FDA has recommended (based on studies of acetaminophen vs. placebo, and also taking into account the ease of overdose) that acetaminophen no longer be labelled as a pain reliever for children under the age of two (only as a fever reducer).  However, compliance with recommendation is voluntary, and so the over-the-counter industry will likely not adopt it.  Why?  Because"pediatricians recommend it."  They said so here.  But what do doctors recommend it based on?  The label?  Past experience?  Aren't we counting on pediatricians to make research-based recommendations, and isn't the FDA saying here that Tylenol for pain in children under 2 years old is not supported by research?  Ever since Bean was born I've heard from moms (and some doctors) that Motrin is for pain and Tylenol is for fevers, so....?

Am I the only person really bothered by this?  I haven't seen anything about it in the media, and it really points to the weakness of the FDA.

I've seen the articles on orange juice bring outrage (and I will probably never buy orange juice again, by the way, simply because I want to know what the heck I'm getting and not have to second-guess it).  Where are the articles and the outrage over the labeling of drugs for our babies and very young children?  Why is it that my bottle of vitamin C has a label that reads "these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration," but Tylenol isn't required to state that their statement of pain relief has been evaluated by the FDA and was found to be false?

What do you think?  Do I need to take a giant chill pill?

Pills image credit: on Flickr
Chill pill image credit:  mirjoran on Flickr

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