3 children die from taking codeine for pain after surgery, FDA warns

Posted by Sarah Showard | Aug 14, 2012 | 0 Comments

3 20children 20die 20from 20taking 20codeine 20for 20pain 20after 20surgery  20fda 20warns

Parents and guardians are being cautioned of the risks of giving prescribed codeine to children after surgeries. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says three children died and another suffered a non-fatal but life-threatening case of respiratory depression, all after being given codeine as a pain reliever after surgeries to remove tonsils and/or adenoids.

The children were given codeine in typical doses after the surgeries, which were performed to relieve obstructive sleep apnea syndrome that blocks the upper airway during sleep.

The FDA advises that health-care providers should use the lowest effective dose of codeine for the shortest amount of time on an as-needed basis.

Parents and guardians who notice signs of an overdose in a child – unusual sleepiness, difficulty being aroused or awakened, confusion or noisy and difficult breathing – should stop giving the child codeine and call 911.

“The FDA is currently conducting a review of adverse event reports and other information to determine if there are additional cases of inadvertent overdose or death in children taking codeine, and if these adverse events occur during treatment of other kinds of pain, such as post-operative pain following other types of surgery or procedures,” said Dr. Bob Rappaport, director of the Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Addiction Products in FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “The FDA will update the public when more information is available.”

Further reading:

About the Author

Sarah Showard

Sarah Showard graduated from the University of Maryland in 1985, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English-Linguistics and a Certification in Womens Studies. She then graduated from New York University School of Law in 1988. Sarah began practice initially as an insurance defense attorne...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Showard Law Firm-Tucson's Local Law Firm for defective drug & medical device claims.

Showard 20staff 202017 201026 20special 20edit edit.jpg 20small

Showard Law Firm is dedicated to compassionate representation for our clients who have been injured by defective products, dangerous drugs or the negligence of any individual or company. We are experienced in litigation and ready to ensure you receive the maximum possible settlement for your injuries, medical bills, mental anguish and other losses.

Sarah Showard and Dr. Peter Ott - 2018 Heart Ball Chairs


Sarah and Peter are the proud chairs of this year's Heart and Stroke Ball, held on 2/17/18 at the El Conquistador. With a western theme "Heart of the West", this important fund raiser is in its 60th year, all raising funds to help with research and advances in the case against heart disease in the Tucson community.