Codiene-Containing Medicine
Potential Risk of Codeine-Containing Medicines on Children

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is investigating the potential risks of using codeine-containing medicines to treat coughs and colds in children younger than 18 years because of the risk for serious side effects. Slowed or difficulty breathing is one of the most serious risks. 


Children, especially those with underlying breathing problems, may be at a higher risk of these side effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) concludes that there are no well-controlled studies that support the efficacy and safety of codeine as antitussives in children.  The AAP also states that dosage guidelines are extrapolated from adult data and thus are imprecise for children. 


The FDA has previously warned against using codeine in children who had surgery to remove their tonsils or adenoids.  In 2015, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) stated that codeine must not be used to treat cough and cold in children younger than 12 years. Further, the EMA states that codeine should be avoided in children between the ages of 12 and 18 who have breathing problems such as asthma or other chronic breathing problems.  Because of the lack of efficacy and negative safety profile, it is not recommended to use codeine in children. The FDA is continuing to investigate and is deciding if additional action is needed.

Being a New Mom and a Unity Member​ Has its Benefits


New moms can now receive an electric breast pump as a benefit from Unity Health Insurance. Unity will cover an electric or manual pump as long as it is not hospital grade. More good news is that Unity will continue to offer the 9 Months & MoreSM program – with different gift options.


More information can be found at unityhealth.com/9mm.