In brief

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 28 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2242

European drug agency advises on codeine in children: Codeine should not be used to treat coughs and colds in children under 12 or in children aged 12-18 who have respiratory conditions, the drug regulatory body for the European Union has said. The European Medicines Agency’s Coordination Group for Mutual Recognition and Decentralised Procedures—Human also said that codeine is contraindicated in women during breast feeding and in patients known to be CYP2D6 ultra-rapid metabolisers. The new advice came after a review of codeine that identified 14 cases of codeine intoxication in children related to the treatment of cough and respiratory infection, four of which had a fatal outcome.

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