Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Allergy drugs bad for kids' earaches

…Kids with fluid in the middle ear, which can affect hearing and balance, are more likely to be harmed than helped by antihistamines and decongestants.

…These drugs do the kids no more good than placebo and can have significant side efx.

…(Can’t have those toddlers operating heavy machinery.)

…Otitis media with effusion (goo) affects 9 out of 10 children at least once.

…The idea was that these drugs would dry up the goo. But it didn’t turn out to work. In some cases, hearing loss became worse.

…17% of kids who took the drugs had significant side efx. That figure was 6% for kids who got the placebo.

…Uh, this was first learned in 1994.

…One doctor said the mental image of a eustachian tube drying up was so powerful for some parents that it overwhelms commonsense.

…You are better off doing nothing, snaps one physician.

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