Trends in adverse events and related health-care facility utilization from cough and cold medication exposures in children

George Sam Wang, Jody L. Green, Kate M. Reynolds, William Banner, G. Randall Bond, Ralph E. Kauffman, Robert B. Palmer, Ian M. Paul, Malin Rapp-Olsson, Richard C. Dart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Initial research following regulatory changes addressing the pediatric safety of cough and cold medications (CCMs) demonstrated decreases in adverse events (AEs). Using a national multi-source surveillance system, we studied subsequent CCM-related AE case rate trends and associated health-care facility (HCF) evaluation in children. Methods: Data were collected from 2009 to 2016. Case eligibility included: age <12 years; exposure to an over-the-counter product containing ≥1 CCM pharmaceutical ingredient; ≥1 significant AE that occurred in the United States. Results: About 4756 (72.6%) cases were determined at least potentially related to an index ingredient. Accidental unsupervised ingestions (AUIs; 3134; 65.9%) were the most common case type. Nearly half of AE cases involved children 2 to <4 years old (2,159; 45.4%). The AE case rate did not change significantly over time (p = 0.22). The proportion of AE cases resulting in HCF admission increased from 32.4% (207) in 2009 to 43.4% (238) in 2016 (p < 0.01). Exposures to diphenhydramine (1,305; 67.3%) and/or dextromethorphan (591; 30.5%) were involved in the majority of HCF admissions. Conclusions: The proportion of AE cases resulting in HCF admission increased from 2009 to 2016. Efforts to prevent AUIs such as packaging innovation and engineering controls, particularly for diphenhydramine and dextromethorphan-containing products, should be pursued.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Toxicology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology

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