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Drug makers eliminate infant drops of key medicine

(AP) - Johnson & Johnson and other makers of cold and fever medications said Wednesday that they will discontinue infant drops of medicines containing acetaminophen in an effort to avoid confusion that can lead to dangerous overdoses.

The industry association for over-the-counter medicine companies said its members will begin phasing out the liquid drops later this year.

After the transition is complete, companies will only sell a single formula for all children under the age of 12. Currently, J&J and other companies market infant formulations that contain half the amount of acetaminophen as that found in regular children's formula.

Acetaminophen is a ubiquitous pain reliever and fever reducer found in Tylenol, Nyquil and thousands of other medicines used to treat flu, headache and sore throat. While generally safe when used as directed, acetaminophen is the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S. and overdoses send more than 50,000 people to emergency rooms each year.

The announcement late Wednesday appeared timed to head off debate about the products at a Food and Drug Administration meeting scheduled for later this month. The FDA has called the meeting to discuss whether additional instructions and safety labeling are needed when acetaminophen products are used in children younger than 2.

The infant products now on the market usually come with a dropper and are designed to deliver 80 milligrams of acetaminophen per 0.8 milliliter of liquid.

Beginning mid-year, drugmakers will stop producing those formulas and only the standard children's formula, which contains 160 milligrams per 5 milliliter. Parents can accidentally give infants too much of the ingredient if they do not read the instructions carefully or use the dropper with a different formulation of the drug.

"We are committed to providing parents and caregivers with the tools and information they need to help give their children the right amount of these medicines," said Scott Melville, president of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. Member companies include J&J, Novartis, Procter & Gamble and makers of generic cold medicines.

The elimination of acetaminophen-based infant formula marks the second time the drug industry has pulled its products off the market ahead of federal action. In 2007, the same industry group announced it would discontinue all infant decongestant medicines, ahead of an FDA meeting to look into deaths with the products.

Answer Question

Asked by Manda725 at 9:33 PM on May. 9, 2011 in Kids' Health

Level 11 (514 Credits)
Answers (24)
  • And customer stupidity once again impacts big business. I don't know whether to be happy or deeply, deeply ashamed.

    Answer by bishopblack at 9:36 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • I think it's awful that responsible parents are being punished for those that can't bother to read instructions. This is the same reason they discontinued cold medications for children under 4, because parents can't be bothered to follow directions.

    Answer by layh41407 at 9:47 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • Hear! Hear! layh41407. When my kids were teething or had an ear infection the infant Tylenol was our life/stress saver. It brought down the fevers, and helped them sleep, especially at night.

    I'm kinda glad my youngest is now 4 and I don't have to deal with this stupid, horrible idea.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 10:00 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • More nanny state because people are so stupid yippy :(

    Answer by MELRN at 10:06 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • So glad I don't have to deal with this.

    Answer by mommythree0508 at 10:27 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • I have not had to use them often but what a shame they are doing this.

    Answer by Peajewel at 10:41 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • Maybe, if you cant read a simple set of instructions, you really shouldnt be having children.
    or at least you shouldnt be medicating them, without proper reading comprehension... seriously.
    The idiots get something else, that is helpful, taken away by sheer stupidity... Good job morons :)

    (sorry about the bitchiness, i just cant stand stupid people who ruin things for everyone else... and proceed to blame everyone else... ex. I am fat so I blame McDonalds.. or... I wasnt watching my child so they got hurt on the see saw, and now I need to blame the city and get them all taken away... BS..If you cannot be trusted to medicate YOUR OWN CHILD, DON'T.)

    Answer by Mme.Langley at 11:05 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • ^ I agree.

    Answer by mrsziemann at 11:51 PM on May. 9, 2011

  • Yes agreed to all!! A friend of mine had sent me this on facebook and i had to see what all you other moms had to say about it!! Like come on, im 21 with a 19 month old and another on the way and im the one that gives my child medicine. But there are certain occasions when my hubby does and even though my hubby didnt finish high school he still read the dosage to makesure he aint OD our children!! I just dont understand how people can be so dumb and stupid to give their child more then need!!

    Comment by Manda725 (original poster) at 1:50 AM on May. 10, 2011

  • Mme. Langley--you are so right!

    Answer by layh41407 at 6:42 AM on May. 10, 2011

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