Kids’ Cold Medicine Recall Issued Over Mismarked Dosing Cup Amid Fear Of Potential Overdoses

A mismarked dosing cup has led a cold medicine maker to recall two of its flavors, fearing that children could overdose on the syrup.

Amid cold and flu season, Perrigo Company has issued the recall out of an “abundance of caution” since there haven’t yet been any reports of overdoses, CBS News reported.

And they’d obviously like to keep it that way.

At the heart of the recall is an issue with the cold medicine’s dosing cup, the tiny little cup with handy markings to indicate how much of the syrup to give a coughing child.

Unfortunately, somehow the dosing cup was mismarked and therefore does not provide the correct amount of medicine. As a result, parents could unwittingly give their kids far too much, Perrigo explained in a joint statement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday.

Cold medicine recall issued amid overdose fears
Photo By sumire8 / Shutterstock

The company assured that taking the wrong dose on one occasion isn’t likely to cause serious side effects, and no overdoses have been reported ahead of the cautious recall. However, the mismarked cups pose a serious risk of the syrup is taken over a period of several days.

Taking the wrong dose over several days can have a cumulative effect on small kids and anyone, in fact, who can’t metabolize the drug’s active ingredient, dextromethorphan, very well.

Among the side effects of overdose for this particular cold medicine are hyperexcitability, rapid eye movements, changes in muscle reflexes, ataxia (loss of control of bodily movement), dystonia (involuntary muscle contractions), hallucinations, stupor, and coma, Perrigo cautioned.

Other possible side effects are nausea, vomiting, tachycardia, irregular heartbeat, seizures, respiratory depression, and even death.

“There have been no reports of adverse events to Perrigo as a result of the incorrect dosage markings,” said Perrigo CEO Joseph Papa. “Perrigo is taking this action to maintain the highest possible product quality standards for our retail customers and consumers. We are taking this action because it is the right thing to do.”

The company sells this particular cold medicine nationally under numerous brand names. It’s sold through multiple retailers, and nine of them have already responded to the recall by pulling their store-brand version of the drug from their shelves, Consumerist reported. Those stores include Sunmark, Rite-Aid, Topcar, Kroger, GoodSense, Dollar General, Care One, and CVS.

Two retailers, Giant and Stop & Shop, pulled the Care One brand version of the cold medicine last week.

The recall includes two batches of children’s grape liquid and three batches of children’s cherry liquid. Both are sold in four-ounce bottles with the offending dosage cups. The grape liquid contains 100mg of the expectorant guaifenesin (the same stuff that’s in Mucinex and Robitussin). The cherry also includes 100mg of guaifenesin, in addition to 5mg of the cough suppressant dextromethorphan HBr (which is also found in Robitussin, as well as Delsym).

CBS News has a full chart of the products affected so parents can double check their bottles. Briefly, according to the news station, “grape flavored products affected by the recall were sold under the H.E.B. label with lot number 5LK0592, and the CVS label with lot number 5MK0340, both with expiration dates of 08/2017.”

Cold medicine recall issued amid overdose fears
Natural cold medicine. Photo By Oksana Shufrych / Shutterstock

Although only products expiring in March 2017 are affected, the company is going right ahead and pulling all date codes just to be safe.

If this recall has you a little skittish about cold medicine now, especially since we’re right in the middle of cold and flu season, there are natural remedies: thyme or black pepper tea, sucking on a lemon, or a nice swallow of honey.

[Image via Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock]