Globally banned cough syrups still legal in India
If you’re planning to buy a codeine-based cough syrup for your child’s cough, think again. Medicines with codeine – a chemical derived from opium — are banned for children below 12 in many countries but are freely available in India as popular cough syrups — such as Corex, Phensedyl, Benadryl and Teddy cough.
In 2013, the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, Canada, Australia and New Zealand banned codeinebased medicines for children under 12 and new mothers after a safety review found serious side effects in children, including fainting, seizures and death.
But most codeine-containing cough syrup brands do not even carry a label that warns of the potential side effects of the chemical on children and breastfeeding women.
Codeine is known to cause opioid poisoning in children and adults with high metabolic rates, say experts.