The FDA alerted about childhood poisoning with a cough medicine

Tessalon is the trade name by which benzonatate is known

The benzonatate is traded under the name of Thessalon and it is one of the most prescribed medicines by doctors for people over 10 years of age in cases of colds or flu. But today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about an increase in cases of child poisoning with this medicine.

According to an article published by the specialized magazine Pediatricspoisoning cases have been on the rise consistently since 2010. Although the worst peak (with a growth of 24%) was between 2015 and 2016, the fact continues to rise and therefore attention must be paid to it. In these years they were officially registered at least 4,600 cases.

The cases of poisoning occurred mostly because the minors were exposed to the drug out of control, as well as minors who intentionally abused consumption. The vast majority were children over the age of 10.

The benzonatate used irresponsibly can bring consequences such as cardiac arrest or seizures, which in extreme cases can cause death of the minor Most of the cases that were registered in the country were not very serious, but the frequency with which they occur is what worries. The drug is sold in soft capsules, called pearls, which are easy to swallow and resemble candy, so experts believe children may have been confused in some cases if they had uncontrolled access to the medication.

In the last decade, 4,600 children have been poisoned with this medicine.

The recommendation is not to stop prescribing this drug, but to doctors have a discussion with minors and their parents when prescribing the pills. In addition, the increase in the number of poisonings with benzonatate goes hand in hand with the increase in prescriptions for this medication. It is likely that doctors are prescribing the use of this medicine more frequently because other cough medicines contain opioids and given the national crisis with these medicines their use has been discouraged.

But as always in the case of minors, the role of parents is fundamental and they must control that there are no abuses in their homes. In general, the recommendation is always that any medication is not within the reach of children and that it be stored in an area that is difficult to access.

Finally, if the minor had access to this medication and the child has any symptoms such as seizures, tremors, or loss of consciousness, seek medical help immediately.

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