Minerva

Antihistamines in children and other stories . . .

BMJ 2016; 353 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2533 (Published 11 May 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;353:i2533

Rare antihistamine dangers for children

The hay fever season will see millions of children taking oral antihistamines. Dutch investigators examined a national pharmacovigilance database for serious adverse effects probably related to antihistamine use and found just five in children, three of which were convulsions after taking loratadine or desloratadine (Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/archdischild-2015-310315). Milder effects from second generation antihistamines, such as somnolence, aggression, agitation, and hyperactivity, were much more common.

Declining back pain sick notes

“Goin’ on t’ club” in Northern England did not mean partying on a Friday night but claiming a sickness certificate. The “club” referred to the mutual insurance society that supported sickness payments before the welfare state. Recent governments have tried to curb spending on the club, and that …

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