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

October 26, 2012
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.

Explore further: Swallowing 'button batteries' can lead to serious injuries or death

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

Related Stories

Swallowing 'button batteries' can lead to serious injuries or death

September 30, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Small, coin-sized batteries can cause serious health problems and can even lead to death if swallowed by children, and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt wants to educate parents ...

Colorful detergent 'pods' a danger for children: CDC

October 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 warn.

Teething baby? Avoid benzocaine, FDA says

July 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.

Tiny batteries pose growing threat to kids

August 30, 2012
(HealthDay)—As the use of small button batteries has become more widespread to power devices such as toys, watches and hearing aids, more young children have swallowed them, resulting in choking and even deaths, a new ...

Recommended for you

Drug for spinal muscular atrophy prompts ethical dilemmas, bioethicists say

December 11, 2017
When the Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug for people with spinal muscular atrophy a year ago, clinicians finally had hope for improving the lives of patients with the rare debilitating muscular disease. ...

FDA's program to speed up drug approval shaved nearly a year off the process

December 7, 2017
Speeding the pace at which potentially lifesaving drugs are brought to market was a rallying cry for Donald Trump as a candidate, and is a stated priority of his Food and Drug Administration commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb. ...

Dangers of commonly prescribed painkillers highlighted in study

December 6, 2017
Commonly prescribed painkillers need to be given for shorter periods of time to reduce the risk of obesity and sleep deprivation, a new study has revealed.

Viagra goes generic: Pfizer to launch own little white pill

December 6, 2017
The little blue pill that's helped millions of men in the bedroom is turning white. Drugmaker Pfizer is launching its own cheaper generic version of Viagra rather than lose most sales when the impotence pill gets its first ...

Surgery-related opioid doses can drop dramatically without affecting patients' pain

December 6, 2017
Some surgeons might be able to prescribe a third of opioid painkiller pills that they currently give patients, and not affect their level of post-surgery pain control, a new study suggests.

Four-fold jump in deaths in opioid-driven hospitalizations

December 4, 2017
People who end up in the hospital due to an opioid-related condition are four times more likely to die now than they were in 2000, according to research led by Harvard Medical School and published in the December issue of ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.