According to a front page article in the Washington Post, an FDA panel voted 13 to 9 to recommend against the use of over the counter cold medications in children less than age 6.
Is there some genetic transformation between the 2190th and 2191st day of life that makes someone less likely to have adverse effects from these medications? Or is the panel just drawing arbitrary lines in the sand at age 6?
I think the reason they made this arbitrary age is because everyone on the panel has kids that are older than age 6, so they don’t have to worry about treating colds in their kids any more.
Here’s an interesting factoid: According to the Washington Post article, Mary Tinetti, MD of the Yale School of Medicine is the doctor who chaired the FDA panel. Mary Tinetti is also Chief of the Division of GERIATRICS at Yale. She is the Director of the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center. Her interests are in fall injury risk prevention and geriatric health problems. All of this is obviously germane to the effects of children’s cough and cold medications. In fact, she must have a lot of experience with 6 year olds — maybe when they come to their grandparent’s doctor’s appointments and are all strung out on cold medications.
If I were asked to be on a panel with Dr. Tinetti’s qualifications, I would decline because of a lack of experience with the subject matter. Why did she accept the appointment?
If your kids are sick this winter and you want to get an FDA expert’s opinion, you can contact Dr. Tinetti at the link above.