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Health Agencies Update
April 23 2008

Cough Drug Warning

JAMA. 2008;299(16):1891. doi:10.1001/jama.299.16.1891-a

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning patients and physicians about serious health risks associated with misuse of Tussionex Pennkinetic Extended-Release Suspension, a prescription cough medicine containing hydrocodone.

The medication, which is FDA-approved for use in children older than 6 years and in adults, should not be given more frequently than every 12 hours. However, the agency has received reports of serious adverse events, including death, in patients younger than 6 years who were given the drug and in adults who have taken more than the recommended dose. In some cases, physicians prescribed the drug to children younger than 6 years; in others, a physician or other clinician advised patients to take more than the recommended dose.

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