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Codeine containing cough linctus

No longer OTC for under 18s

Dr Allan Tennant reports

18th of October 2010


The MHRA has told pharmacists that over-the-counter oral liquid medicines containing codeine should no longer be used to treat cough in children and young people under 18 years and all over-the-counter oral liquid codeine medicines will be supplied in child-resistant containers.


I personally can't remember if I have ever given a cough suppressant to a child and I concur with the MHRA that efficacy evidence is lacking.


Doctors can continue to prescribe cough suppressants, but the DDA would agree with cough suppresants being in child-resistant containers.


Link to MHRA website 


This months MHRA Drug Safety Update also highlights:

  • Pandemic vaccines and antivirals: safety review

  • Human papillomavirus immunisation programme: second year safety review

  • Rosiglitazone: recommended withdrawal from clinical use

  • Mercaptamine and mercaptopurine: confusion between drug names

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