Parents are being advised to prevent infants under the age of two from taking medicine
containing codeine to relieve coughs,according to the Bureau of National Health
Insurance. The bureau recently issued a survey using report data from medical
institutions across the nation over the last year and found a large amount of
medication containing codeine was prescribed to infants under two years old. Codeine
is an opiate commonly used to cure coughs, diarrhea and pains. Patients taking
medication containing codeine may suffer from side effects such as drowsiness,
dizziness and nausea. The medication, therefore, is not suitable for infants younger
than two years old, the bureau said, quoting a study issued by the WHO in 2001.
However, about 118,000 babies in the country were using medicines containing codeine,
most of which came from clinics, to relieve flu last year, the survey said. The
statistics also showed that most of the infants were prescribed the medicine when
they visited pediatricians.