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Overdose in Infant Caused by Over-the-Counter Cough Medicine

Sofya Pugach MD, PhD, MPH, Isaac Z. Pugach MD
Volume: 102 Issue: 4 April, 2009

Abstract:

Abstract:Each year consumers purchase about 95 million units of over-the-counter medications for pediatric use, an unsafe application that can cause life-threatening effects. Despite a warning from the Food and Drug Administration, many parents or caregivers continue to administer these remedies to children. This report describes the case of a 4-month-old infant presenting to the emergency department with acute life-threatening intoxication including altered mental status, impaired coordination of movements, as well as a positive urine drug test for phencyclidine and an elevated serum ethanol level. Further evaluation uncovered that the actual reason for all clinical symptoms and laboratory test results was over-the-counter cough syrup.

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References:

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