Swallowing nasal sprays, eye drops can harm kids, FDA warns

Swallowing nasal sprays, eye drops can harm kids, FDA warns
Even ingesting tiny amounts of over-the-counter drops, sprays can have serious effects.

(HealthDay)—Over-the-counter eye drops or nasal decongestant sprays can pose a serious health threat to children who swallow them and should be kept out of the reach of kids at all times, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns.

These products—sold under brand names such as Visine, Dristan and Mucinex, as well as generic and store brands—contain active ingredients called imidazoline derivatives.

"Children who swallow even miniscule amounts of these products can have serious adverse effects," FDA pharmacist Yelena Maslov said in an agency news release.

Between 1985 and 2012, there were 96 reported cases in which children aged 1 month to 5 years accidentally swallowed products containing imidazoline derivatives in the United States. Although there were no reported deaths, 53 of the children had to be hospitalized due to symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, fast heart beat and coma, according to the FDA.

"Under-reporting of these types of events is common, so it is possible there are additional cases that we may not be aware of," Maslov said.

In 2012, the U.S. Commission (CPSC) proposed a rule to require child-resistant packaging for all products that contain at least 0.08 milligrams of an imidazoline derivative, but the rule has not been finalized.

The FDA is partnering with the CPSC to warn adults about the need to keep these products safely out of the reach of children. If a child swallows or , call the National Capital Poison Center (1-800-222-1222) and seek emergency medical attention, the FDA said.

More information: The Nemours Foundation has more about preventing poisoning by medications and other substances.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FDA panel backs infant doses for kids' Tylenol

May 18, 2011

(AP) -- Federal health experts say dosing instructions for children younger than 2 years old should be added to Children's Tylenol and similar products containing acetaminophen, the popular pain reliever and fever reducer.

Colorful detergent 'pods' a danger for children: CDC

Oct 18, 2012

(HealthDay)—Those bite-sized, brightly colored packets of concentrated liquid laundry detergent need to be kept out of the reach of small children, who often mistake them for candy, U.S. health officials ...

Teething baby? Avoid benzocaine, FDA says

Jul 29, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Parents should not use benzocaine products to relieve teething pain in babies except under the advice and supervision of a health care professional, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

Drugmakers eliminate infant drops of key medicine

May 05, 2011

(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 ...

Recommended for you

High-dose opioid prescribing continues to climb

Sep 12, 2014

High-dose opioid prescribing increased by 23 per cent in Canada between 2006 and 2011, despite clinical guidelines recommending that most patients should avoid high-doses of these drugs, according to new ...

Feds say Bayer colon supplement makes bogus claims

Sep 12, 2014

The United States government accused Bayer of making scientifically unproven statements about the health benefits of a popular probiotic on Friday, claiming the German pharmaceutical giant was in contempt of court.

FDA approves weight-loss drug Contrave (Update)

Sep 11, 2014

U.S. regulators have greenlighted a new weight-loss drug called Contrave, the third in a string of approvals for prescription medications aimed at the nation's 78 million obese adults.

User comments