FDA: Codeine use after tonsillectomy can be fatal to children

02/20/2013 | Wall Street Journal, The

The FDA issued a warning Wednesday against the use of codeine-containing drugs to ease pain in children who have had their tonsils or adenoids removed, following 13 reports of child deaths linked to the drug. Since many of these children had sleep apnea, "they may have been particularly sensitive to the breathing difficulties that can result when codeine is converted in the body to high levels of morphine," officials said. The agency said it will require all codeine-containing products to have a boxed warning against use in children after such surgeries.

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