FDA: codeine, tramadol contraindicated in kids

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  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is adding a new contraindication for all codeine- and tramadol-containing products, precluding their use in children aged <12 y.

Why this matters

  • The action reflects a stronger stance than that of 2013, when boxed warning/contraindications were issued regarding codeine use after tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy.

What's changed?

  • Codeine may not be used to treat pain/cough, and tramadol may not be used to treat pain in children aged <12 y.
  • Tramadol may not be used to treat pain after tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy in children and teenagers aged <18 y.
  • Both should be avoided in adolescents aged 12-18 y who are obese or have risk factors for breathing problems (eg, obstructive sleep apnea or severe lung disease).
  • The FDA e...