Truly, nothing inspires confidence and medical credibility than hearing a big pharmaceutical company trumpet the safety of their children's cold medicines one week and then suddenly do a 180 and announce a voluntary [sic] ban on those same meds for half the market.
While that's not exactly what happened this week, it's clear that makers of over-the-counter cold meds for kids 6 and under are doing exactly what they did last year in the 2-and-under market: throw up a concessionary voluntary limit in hopes of heading off an outright FDA ban. Good luck with that.
The newly announced labeling would tell parents not to use OTC meds on kids under 4, since they make up the majority of overdose- and complication-related emergency room visits. They'd also instruct not to use antihistamines for sedation. "While many parents believe that getting a sick child to sleep is the best medicine, the use of sedatives is widely discouraged by medical experts, who say they can worsen breathing problems caused by illness."
ORLY? And is it possible that medical experts didn't notice until now that the entire children's cold medical universe might be oriented around getting sick children to sleep?
Look, Benadryl may very well be the opium-laced Mother's Sleepy Tyme Elixir of the 21st century, and we'll all be looked back on by our grandkids as clueless barbarians.
But as I've been following this FDA crusade the last couple of years, I can't help but feel the story keeps changing: the problem is overdosing and combination medicines, then there's no research, then the drugs actually don't even work. A couple of weeks ago, meds were bad because there's no cure for the common cold, just the symptoms, but now it's only 3-year-olds who overdose, and oh yeah, the sleep we promised? Exactly the wrong thing to do.
Until I see something conclusive, or at least persuasive, I'm gonna stay on Team Sleep for a while.