Decrease in therapeutic errors involving prescription cough and cold medications in young children

J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Jan;17(1):84-7. doi: 10.5863/1551-6776-17.1.84.

Abstract

Objectives: This study sought to determine whether an increase in therapeutic errors involving prescription cough and cold medications (CCM) reported to poison centers was observed following the October 2007 voluntary withdrawal of over-the-counter CCM.

Methods: Analysis of therapeutic errors involving prescription CCM in children under 2 years of age for the 33 months before and the 27 months after the October 2007 withdrawal.

Results: Total counts of therapeutic errors involving prescription CCM in children under 2 years of age decreased from 452 to 337 per year. Rates of therapeutic errors decreased from 0.43 cases/100,000 person-month prewithdrawal to 0.32 postwithdrawal, a 25.6% decrease (p<0.0001).

Conclusions: An increase in harm as measured by the number of poison center calls for therapeutic errors involving prescription CCM was not observed in the 27-month time period after the withdrawal. A significant decrease in therapeutic errors involving these products is reported.

Keywords: cough and cold medications; poison center; therapeutic errors.