HEALTH

FDA endorses industry iniative to update children’s cough-cold product labeling

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday issued a consumer update regarding the use of cough/cold products in children that reinforces the agency’s support of an industry initiative that changes label recommendations on pediatric cough/cold products to no longer recommend use in children under the age of four, and explains the reasoning behind why the agency hasn’t requested an immediate product recall of current labeling.

“The voluntary actions announced by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association are intended to help prevent and reduce the misuse of these products in children and to better inform consumers about their safe and effective use,” the agency stated. “CHPA’s voluntary actions will not affect the availability of the medicines, but will result in a transition period where the instructions for using some OTC cough and cold medicines in children will be different from others. Some product instructions will state ‘do not use’ in children under 4 years of age, while others will instruct not to use in children under 2 years of age. FDA does not typically request that OTC products with previous labeling be removed from the shelves during a voluntary label change such as this one. The agency recommends following the dosage instructions and warnings on the label that accompanies the medication if you have or buy a product that does not have the voluntarily modified labeling.”

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Food allergies, digestive problems increasing in young people, report says

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA The number of young people who had a food or digestive allergy increased 18 percent between 1997 and 2007, according to a new report issued Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2007, approximately 3 million U.S. children and teenagers under age 18—or nearly 4 percent of that age group—were reported to have a food or digestive allergy in the previous 12 months, compared to just over 2.3 million (3.3 percent) in 1997.

The report found that eight types of food account for 90 percent of all food allergies: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. Reactions to these foods by an allergic person can range from a tingling sensation around the mouth and lips, to hives and even death, depending on the severity of the reaction.

Children with food allergy are two to four times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared to children without food allergies, the report said.

The mechanisms by which a person develops an allergy to specific foods are largely unknown. Food allergy is more prevalent in children than adults. Most affected children will outgrow food allergies, although food allergy can be a lifelong concern.

The findings are published in a new data brief, “Food Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalence and Hospitalizations.” The data are from the National Health Interview Survey and the National Hospital Discharge Survey, both conducted by CDC?s National Center for Health Statistics.

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Pepto Bismol teams with Travel Channel host to give tips on ‘taste adventures’

BY Michael Johnsen

CINCINNATI Andrew Zimmern, host of Travel Channel’s series Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, has partnered with Pepto-Bismol to provide tips on how to have a “taste adventure” on the road or at home, Procter & Gamble announced Wednesday. According to Zimmern, consumers can have piece of mind when trying new tastes by planning ahead and safeguarding their stomach. “For any taste escapade, the important keys are to plan ahead and leave … reservations at the door,” he said. “Explore the unique tastes [of the] city and … and pack your Cherry Pepto, so you will feel secure enough to experience new things.”

Zimmern’s local guides include his favorite spots that often get looked over, as well as “must- tastes” from the names that consistently produce the most exciting food. The guides are tailored for local and regional tastes.

Local Taste Adventure Guides are available for Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.

To help celebrate Zimmern’s Taste Adventure Guides, Pepto-Bismol is inviting consumers to enter the Cherry Pepto Taste Adventure Sweepstakes. Entrants have the opportunity to submit a story about his or her own “taste adventure” for a chance to win a four day/three night trip for two to one of the destinations featured in the Local Taste Adventure Guides.

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