Sat, Aug 19, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take: Parents warned about Codeine

STAFF WRITER

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.

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