Check your medicine cabinet, parents! More than 40 over-the-counter infants' and children's liquid medications are being recalled in the U.S. and 11 other countries because they did not meet required quality standards, The New York Times reports.
Parents are advised to stop using infants' and children's Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec and Benadryl products. (Click here for a complete list of the recalled products.)
The Johnson & Johnson unit, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, says that some products may have a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified on the medicine bottle; others may contain particles; while others may have inactive ingredients that do not meet testing standards. All of these factors prompted the voluntary recall, officials were quoted in the NYT's story.
So far, McNeil said no adverse health effects have been reported, but the company asks parents and caregivers to report any suspected cases to the Food and Drug Administration's MedWatch Program.
McNeil has also set up a hotline (888-222-6036) to answer customer questions and concerns. The company's dedicated recall website also has instructions on how to safely dispose of the medication; plus a request form for you to be contacted (via e-mail or return phone call) if you would like to get a refund.
In place of the recalled medications, according to the FDA, there are a number of other products on the market, including generic brands, that can be used be in infants and children. Brands not listed on the official list are not affected by the recall. For example, parents can still give children's Advil to their kids. Experts this week have also been going through the alternative options for treating your sick child, the Chicago Tribune reports.
It's not the first time children's cold medicine has been in the news. In 2008, Crib Notes reported on drug companies agreeing to changes in the guidelines for children's over-the-counter cough and cold medicines, advising parents not to give kids younger than 4 these medications. And then early last year, there was the official warning against using VapoRub on sick kids younger than 2.
When it comes to treating your baby's cold, natural is better in some cases. Check out our safe alternative to medication in treating your baby's cold.
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.