Thursday, July 3, 2008

Children's Motrin Question Answered

Here's the original post about the Children's Motrin trial going on in California.

Reader Jenny asked:
"Maybe I am confused but is this related primarily to Motrin/ibuprofen or couldn't this effect anyone with any medication? Is Motrin singled out in the original story because that is what that little girl was allergic to? And if your kids have already had it w/ no complications, what is the likely hood of this happening? I am sure these are questions more for a doctor but any opinions welcome."
Dr. Tom Golemon, Professor of Clinical Family Medicine at the University of Illinois College of
Medicine at Peoria responded to your questions:
"Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) can be caused by a number of different medications (antibiotics, anti-seizure meds, and others) and is thought often to be a complication of viral or other infections and in about 25-50% of cases, there is no apparent cause to be found. It
is a very uncommon disease, with about 2-3 cases per million. Thus the chances of your child developing SJD from Motrin is quite low. If your child has taken ibuprofen before without an adverse reaction, the subsequent development of an allergy is less likely but not impossible.

(For example, lots of people develop allergies to penicillin, but after having used it successfully for years prior). As with all medications, the risks of the medicine should be weighed against the benefit expected. Since acetaminophen (Brand name, Tylenol) is available for fever reduction in children and infants and is not known to have this potential adverse reaction, one might choose it as a first line of treatment."
As I was writing this post, Knight in Dragonland responded to the question too. You can read his response on the original post. It is along the same lines.
What a great day! Two doctors answering our questions very promptly! And it's a holiday weekend! I don't think we have half of the crew in the building today. Oh, there goes someone else saying "goodbye" for the weekend. In other words, thanks for the responses!
I honestly think I will choose Tylenol first even though the chances are very slim that my boys would have an allergic reaction to ibuprofen. What do you think?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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Jenny said...

Thank you Jen for pursuing the answers to these questions. Thank you also to Dr. Tom Golemon and Knight (who is also our peditrician) for the informative responses. I agree that the media can blow things out of proportion (no offense Jen) and make something like this seem like it is an imminent concern. I agree with Knight on several things: 1. our healthcare system needs an overhaul. 2. People are always searching for someone to blame. Don't get me wrong ... if someone truly is to blame for something "specific", then accountability is important. However, to blame Motrin for a reaction that could happen in any number of situations and with many types of medications is crazy.

I feel for the family and the devastation they must feel but we do have to accept that life itself is a 'risk'. Will I still give my daughters Motrin? Yes. Tylenol has never seemed to work well w/ either one, so if my kids are in pain or have a high fever, I will take the 1 in a million chance so that I can relieve their immediate pain. Others may choose not to take that chance ... that is what makes us all individuals.

And thanks for digging deeper into this story so that we could get to the 'larger picture' so to speak!! Kudos.

Maria said...

I think I will weigh the reason for the need to give him medication, time of day, etc versus the risk. I prefer ibuprofen overnight, due to it lasting longer, but in the day time, I might choose an alternative.

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