(oddharmonic/Flickr)

Health Canada warns against giving opioid-containing cough, cold meds to youth

Usage could lead to problems later in life

The federal government is warning parents and doctors against allowing kids and teens to use cough and cold medications with opioids in them.

The advisory was issued by Health Canada Monday morning and cited a review of cough and cold prescription drugs which found the “early use of opioids may be a factor in problematic substance use later in life.”

The review did not link opioid-containing medication use in youth with substance abuse problems in teens’ later years, but in adulthood.

“Given the lack of strong data on effectiveness and the potential for longer-term risks, the department is taking action to advise Canadians about the risks of these products,” the advisory said.

Health Canada said there are three prescription opioids used to treat coughs and colds in the country: codeine, hydrocodone, and normethadone.

Low-dose codeine is also available in over-the-counter medication and the agency is undertaking a review of those as well.

Health Canada said the use of prescription cough and cold products containing opioids has fallen among youth in the past five years. Just four per cent of total cough and cold prescriptions with opioids were prescribed to teens and kids.

The agency is asking manufactures to update their product information to reflect the new advisory.

The alert comes as more than 9,000 people nation-wide died of opioid-related overdoses between January 2016 and June 2018. In B.C. alone, 1,489 were killed by the overdose crisis in 2018 alone.

READ MORE: B.C. opioid overdoses still killing four people a day, health officials say

READ MORE: B.C. organ donors who tested positive for fentanyl up 26%


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Drag races could return to Stamp Ave in Port Alberni in 2019

Thunder in the Valley might not return to the Alberni Valley Regional Airport this year

Climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall in the Alberni Valley

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

Port Alberni poet shortlisted for B.C. award

Port Alberni’s Derek Hanebury is a former instructor at North Island College

Indigenous youth connect with their culture at Gathering Our Voices workshops

Secluded Wellness Centre in Port Alberni hosted traditional wildcraft sessions

Illegal cannabis club in Port Alberni ticketed again

RCMP seize cannabis, issue fine for second time in five months

VIDEO: The ‘most cosmopolitan’ of butterflies could migrate to B.C.

The painted lady butterfly will likely arrive this summer from Southern California

Prime Minister Trudeau comes campaigning in Nanaimo

A day after announcing a May 6 byelection date for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, Justin Trudeau visits riding

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

Most Read