Deadly Over the Counter Combinations

Little girl dies, after her grandma gives her too much cough and allergy meds

PALM DESERT, Calif. - A 5 year-old little girl in Colorado is dead, after ingesting a deadly combination of cold and allergy medications. Her grandma was trying to help her feel better with over the counter medication. It's a reminder to parents, to take extra precautions, when it comes to giving their kids medicine, when they're sick.

When we told mother of four, Nicole Wise about the story she said, "It's just crazy to me. It's absurd."

Dr. Kinder Fayssoux, at the Eisenhower Argyros Health Center says, "It's sad. It's just so sad and something that could have been prevented."

Kimber Michelle Brown was spending the night at her grandma's house, when she died February 12th. Kimber had flu-like symptoms, her grandma tried to treat with a combination of cough syrup and allergy medicine. This week, her death was ruled an accidental overdose. Her blood levels of dextromethrophan were two and a half times higher than the recommended dosage, in cough syrup. And she had higher than normal levels of cetirizine, the main ingredient in Zyrtec.

Steve Pomerance is a Pharmacist at Town Center Compounding Pharmacy, in Palm Desert. He says, "With the combination of those two drugs, for a 5 year-old, it's pretty intense. I would never have given a child that combination."

Dr. Fayssoux agrees. She says parents often choose over the counter drugs, that simply mask the symptoms and can be dangerous. She tells us, "Especially when things get mixed and they don't need to. and a lot of times it may not even be appropriate. If you talk to the doctor, they might say you know what, the over the counter thing for kids sometimes don't even tend to help."

Some parents we talked to, say giving their child medication of any kind, is their last resort. Wise says, "I'm not one to give my kids medication. It's really sad, awful."

Ronnie Yonekura is a father of four. He says, "I don't really like to give them a lot of medication, even with the doctor prescribes it. I'll try to do it for a day or two, if they seem to recover, then I kind of stop."

As long as they don't have a fever, sore throat or nasty cough, alternative treatments can be just as effective, especially for kids under 12. Pomerance says, "Bed rest, lots of fluids, honey, lemon, tea, chicken soup. The old remedy we always use is the best way to go."

As well as the safest way to get your kids back on their feet.

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