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High Rates of Codeine Prescriptions for Children Reported, Even With Known Risks

April 24th, 2014

Every medication released to the market in the United States must undergo rigorous testing for safety. Any risks discovered will result in warnings being placed on the labels and packaging of the medication. A new study has shown though, that despite these warnings and guidelines, doctors are still improperly dispensing medications that could cause patients to suffer a serious drug injury.

Medication errors are one of the leading causes of accidental death in the U.S. today, particularly when involving narcotic painkillers like liquid codeine syrup. Even with the known risks associated with narcotics, and ample warning labels on the packaging, WRAL News reports that at least half a million children are prescribed liquid codeine in emergency rooms each year. Experts say this number is too high, considering the numerous other options available for pain relief and the serious risks of respiratory failure posed by a codeine overdose.

Even the makers of the drug recognize the dangers. The high rates of codeine abuse have drug maker Actavis pulling their version of liquid codeine, known on the street as “sizzurp” or “lean,” off shelves.

The North Carolina personal injury lawyers with HensonFuerst know the dangers associated with taking certain drugs and urge anyone who has been harmed by taking a medication prescribed by a doctor to speak with a legal representative regarding their options and rights.