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Health Watch: The Dangers Of Prescribing Codeine To Kids

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CBS Minnesota (con't)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new study shows some ER doctors are still prescribing codeine to children, even though there are guidelines that say it could be dangerous.

A new study published in the journal “Pediatrics” shows codeine – an opiate prescribed for cough or pain — can help some children, but about a third get no relief. Some children can even build up toxic amounts causing excessive sleepiness, difficulty breathing and in rare cases, death.

The FDA warns codeine can also trigger rare, life-threatening complications after some surgeries.

Pediatricians say that for more severe pain, hydrocodone is a safer, more effective option.

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