Your Health: Codeine and kids - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Your Health: Codeine and kids

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    A new study shows that some doctors prescribe codeine to children despite warnings  from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
        The latest research found emergency room physicians still hand out hundreds of thousands of codeine prescriptions for children every year, despite warnings that kids' responses to codeine vary wildly and the drug can cause an accidental overdose.
       According to an analysis of hospital survey data collected annually by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ER doctors issued about 560,000 to 880,000 prescriptions for codeine to kids each year between 2001 and 2010.
     The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) repeated warnings advise that differences in children's metabolisms can cause the effects of codeine to swing from ineffective to toxic.
      Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco say hundreds of thousands of children are still getting codeine, even though there are better and safer alternatives available.
     The study appears in the journal Pediatrics.
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