Tag Archives: fever

Neem & Margosa Oil

Margosa or Neem Oil

Margosa or Neem oil is a yellow oil with a disagreeable smell and bitter taste that has been used as a medical remedy in India and Southeast Asia for several centuries.  In recent years, there have been rare reports of acute onset of severe metabolic acidosis, hepatic and multiorgan failure and death following ingestion of margosa oil.

Background

Margosa oil is an extract of the seeds of Azadirachta indica, commonly known as the Neem tree native to India and

NOT FOR CHILDREN!!

NOT FOR CHILDREN!!

Sri Lanka.  In low doses, margosa oil has been a traditional remedy for centuries in India and Southeast Asia used in treating asthma, intestinal parasites, arthritis and leprosy.  It is also an insecticide.  The oil has a disagreeable smell and bitter taste attributable to volatile sulphur compounds and fatty acids.   The bitters are secondary products formed during storage of the oil or the seeds and concentrations can vary in different commercial samples.

Hepatotoxicity

Margosa oil can cause severe metabolic acidosis and death, particularly in young children.  Symptoms of nausea, vomiting and progressive stupor develop within hours of consumption, followed by severe metabolic acidosis, coma, and progressive hepatic dysfunction, similar to Reye Syndrome.  Serum aminotransferase levels are generally normal or minimally elevated initially, but then rise to high levels accompanied by increases in LDH and CPK levels.  Progressive hepatic encephalopathy and cerebral edema develop within days.   This product contains high levels of salicylates – the same as aspirin.  Therefore, this product could trigger Reye’s Syndrome and should not be given or used by children under the age of 19.

Again, we urge extreme caution in using herbal remedies, and always check for salicylates in any product given to children under the age of 19.

NOT FOR CHILDREN!

NOT FOR CHILDREN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mechanism of Injury

The mechanism of hepatotoxicity of margosa oil appears to be related to mitochondrial dysfunction and poisoning of the electron transport pathway by a component of margosa oil or a contaminant.  A similar syndrome has been induced in laboratory animals with samples of the implicated oil.

 Other Names:  Neem oil

Other links:

What is Reye’s Syndrome

Aspirin Containing Products

Other Names for Aspirin

Pepto-Bismol and Children

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September is Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Month!

Just in time for school, September of each year is designated as Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Month!

Just in time for Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Month, the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation is offering some great tee’s in 3 fabulous colors to help spread the word that Kids and Aspirin Products Don’t Mix!

We hope you care enough about eradicating this child-killing disease to support our programs and help us get the word out by purchasing and wearing a “Be Wise About Reye’s” tee-shirt.  RS Awareness Month Tees

Tee’s on sale for $15.00 now include:

Ash  — Light Blue  — Bright Green

Tees can be ordered until August 20, 2013 so they can be shipped to you before September.

This is a crowd sourced awareness campaign and we have to sell at least a total of 10 tees in the color you choose in order to have them printed.  If you order a tee, and we don’t meet the goal of selling 10 tees in that color, you will not be charged and your tee will not be printed.  If you need more information about how this works, email the foundation at: nrsf(at)reyessyndrome(dot)org

We will take credit card orders over the phone also at: 800.233.7393

Join us in eliminating the incidence of this child-killing disease! Order Your Tee Today!!  It’s tax-deductible, too!

Thank You!

National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation
501(c)3 Charity – est. 1974
www.reyessyndrome.org

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Immunizations Recommended for Children and Adolescents

What immunizations are recommended for children and adolescents?

Ask your doctor what shots your child should get. The immunization schedule includes vaccines for:

Chickenpoxroutine_baby_vaccines
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Measles
Mumps
Rubella
Polio
Tuberculosis

Chickenpox:
Chickenpox, also known as varicella, is a highly contagious and self-limited infection that most commonly affects children between 5-10 years of age. The disease has a worldwide distribution and is reported throughout the year in regions of temperate climate. The peak incidence is generally during the months of March through May. Lifelong immunity for chickenpox generally follows the disease. If the patient’s immune system does not totally clear the body of the virus, it may retreat to skin sensory nerve cell bodies where it is protected from the patient’s immune system. The disease shingles (also known as “zoster”) represents release of these viruses down the length of the skin nerve fiber and produces a characteristic painful rash. Shingles is most commonly a disease of adults.

NOTE! Reye’s Syndrome, a deadly disease has been heavily linked with this virus. Learn More.

Learn More about Managing Chickenpox in Children
Learn More

Diphtheria
Diphtheria is a contagious infectious disease that primarily affects the upper respiratory tract (respiratory diphtheria), and it is characterized by sore throat, fever, and an adherent membrane (pseudomembrane) on the tonsils and nasopharynx. Diphtheria can also affect the skin and cause localized skin infections (cutaneous diphtheria). Severe infection with diphtheria can lead to systemic involvement and can affect other organ systems as well, such as the heart and nervous system, sometimes leading to death. Diphtheria is caused by the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

Transmission occurs via inhalation of airborne respiratory secretions or by direct contact with infected nasopharyngeal secretions or skin wounds. Rarely, infection can be spread by contact with objects contaminated by an infected person.

Risk factors for the development of diphtheria include absent or incomplete immunization against diphtheria, overcrowded and/or unsanitary living conditions, a compromised immune system, and travel to areas where the disease is endemic, especially in individuals who have not obtained booster shots (vaccine).

Learn More

Tetanus
Tetanus is a disease caused by a bacterial infection. The bacteria make a toxin, or poison, that causes severe muscle spasms. Tetanus can be very dangerous, but you can get a shot to prevent it. Tetanus is also called “lockjaw” because muscle spasms in your jaw make it hard to open your mouth. Tetanus also causes seizures and makes it hard for you to swallow or breathe.

In the United States, most people have had shots to prevent tetanus, so the disease is relatively rare. People who have never been immunized or haven’t had a booster in the last 10 years are more likely to get tetanus. This includes people who recently moved to the U.S. from countries where tetanus shots are rare.

If you never had tetanus shots as a child, or if you’re not sure if you had them, you’ll need to get 3 tetanus shots in about a 1-year time span. After that, 1 booster shot every 10 years will work for you.

Get a tetanus shot as soon as possible if you have a dirty cut or wound and 5 or more years have passed since your last tetanus shot.

Learn More

Whooping Cough
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a disease that causes very severe coughing that may last for months. During bursts of violent coughing, you may make a noise that sounds like a “whoop” when you try to take a breath. You can cough so hard that you hurt a rib.

Whooping cough spreads easily from one person to another. Getting the pertussis vaccine can help you avoid the disease, make it less severe, and prevent you from spreading it to those who are at risk for more serious problems.

With good care, most people recover from whooping cough with no problems. But severe coughing spells can decrease the blood’s oxygen supply and lead to other problems, such as pneumonia. The illness can be dangerous in older adults and young children, especially babies who aren’t old enough to have had the pertussis vaccine.

July 19, 2012 — Whooping cough cases could be headed toward a 50-year high in the United States, and the CDC says the nation is on track for record rates of the disease.

Twice as many cases have been reported so far this year as at the same point last year, a CDC official said today.

Nationwide, nearly 18,000 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, and nine deaths have been reported in 2012, Anne Schuchat, MD, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters.

More than 3,000 cases have been reported in Washington State alone, where health officials have declared a whooping cough epidemic.

Pregnant women and anyone else likely to come into contact with young babies are being urged to get booster shots to prevent whooping cough, even if they have been vaccinated in the past.

That’s because babies are most likely to die or be hospitalized when they get the highly contagious bacterial disease, which is named for the characteristic cough that accompanies it.

“All of the whooping cough fatalities that have occurred this year have been among babies who were too young to be fully vaccinated”, Schuchat said. “We would need to go back to 1959 to find as many cases reported by this time in the year.”

Learn More

Measles
Measles, also known as rubeola, is one of the most contagious infectious diseases, with at least a 90% secondary infection rate in susceptible domestic contacts. It can affect people of all ages, despite being considered primarily a childhood illness. Measles is marked by prodromal fever, cough, coryza, conjunctivitis, and pathognomonic enanthem (ie, Koplik spots), followed by an erythematous maculopapular rash on the third to seventh day. Infection confers life-long immunity. Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a rare chronic degenerative disease that occurs several years after measles infection.

Globally, measles remains one of the leading causes of death in young children. According to the CDC, measles caused an estimated 197,000 deaths worldwide in 2007.

Case-fatality rates are higher among children younger than 5 years. The highest fatality rates are among infants aged 4-12 months and in children who are immunocompromised because of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection or other causes.

Complications of measles are more likely to occur in persons younger than 5 years or older than 20 years, and morbidity and mortality are increased in persons with immune deficiency disorders, malnutrition, vitamin A deficiency, and inadequate vaccination.

Croup, encephalitis, and pneumonia are the most common causes of death associated with measles. Measles encephalitis, a rare but serious complication, has a 10% mortality.

Unvaccinated males and females are equally susceptible to infection by the measles virus. Excess mortality following acute measles has been observed among females at all ages, but it is most marked in adolescents and young adults.

Despite the highest recorded immunization rates in history, young children who are not appropriately vaccinated may experience more than a 60-fold increase in risk of disease due to exposure to imported measles cases from countries that have not yet eliminated the disease.

The peak incidence of infection occurs during late winter and spring. Infection is transmitted via respiratory droplets, which can remain active and contagious, either airborne or on surfaces, for up to 2 hours. Initial infection and viral replication occur locally in tracheal and bronchial epithelial cells.

After 2-4 days, measles virus infects local lymphatic tissues, perhaps carried by pulmonary macrophages. Following the amplification of measles virus in regional lymph nodes, a predominantly cell-associated viremia disseminates the virus to various organs prior to the appearance of rash.

Supportive care is normally all that is required for patients with measles. Vitamin A supplementation during acute measles significantly reduces risks of morbidity and mortality.

Learn More About Measles and Your Child

Mumps
Mumps is a disease, usually of children, caused by a virus. With mumps, your salivary glands swell. Specifically, these are the parotid glands, and they are located below and in front of each ear.

The virus is spread by direct contact with an infected person’s sneeze or cough. Humans are the only known natural hosts. The disease is more severe if you get it as an adult.

With nearly universal immunization in childhood, there are fewer than 1,000 cases of mumps per year. Most of the reported cases are in children 5-14 years of age. The infection is more common during late winter and spring.

Learn More

Rubella (German Measles)
Rubella is a very contagious, easily spread illness caused by the rubella virus. It is usually a mild illness. But in rare cases, it may cause more serious problems.

If you are pregnant and get infected with the rubella virus, your baby (fetus) could become infected too. This can cause birth defects, including serious defects known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). CRS can cause hearing loss, eye problems, heart problems, and other complications.

Rubella also is called German measles or 3-day measles.

The rubella virus most often is spread through droplets of fluid from the mouth, nose, or eyes of someone who has the infection. A person who has the infection can spread these droplets by coughing, sneezing, talking, or sharing food or drinks. You can get infected by touching something that has the droplets on it and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth before washing your hands.

If you have rubella, you are most likely to spread it a few days before the rash starts until 5 to 7 days after the rash first appears. But you can spread the virus even if you don’t have any symptoms.

If you’ve had rubella, it is very unlikely that you will get it again.

Learn More

Polio
Polio is an infectious disease caused by polioviruses that can result in symptoms ranging from none to lifelong disability or death. Risk factors are highest for those people unvaccinated against polio, young children, immunosuppressed people, pregnant females, those people living or traveling in areas where polio is endemic, and polio patient caregivers.

Polio symptoms first begin like any other viral illness; progressive symptoms include muscle discomfort and muscle paralysis with late symptoms of muscle atrophy, weakness, extremity disfigurement, and breathing problems in some patients.

People who have risk factors or symptoms should seek medical care immediately.

Diagnosis of polio is made by clinical observation of symptoms and by tests that detect the polio viruses in samples taken from the patient.
There is no medical cure for polio; medical treatment is designed to reduce symptoms.

There are many surgical methods used to help relieve symptoms of polio (mainly bone, joint, and muscle modifications).

Prevention of polio is possible with appropriate vaccination treatments; avoiding contact with polio viruses by good hygiene and avoiding areas where polio is endemic also help prevent polio.

The prognosis for most people who are infected by the polio viruses is good, but those few patients who develop paralytic polio have a prognosis ranging from good to poor, depending on the severity of infection.

Learn More

Tuberculosis (TB)
All cases of TB are passed from person to person via droplets. When someone with TB infection coughs, sneezes, or talks, tiny droplets of saliva or mucus are expelled into the air, which can be inhaled by another person.

Once infectious particles reach the alveoli (small saclike structures in the air spaces in the lungs), another cell, called the macrophage, engulfs the TB bacteria.

Then the bacteria are transmitted to the lymphatic system and bloodstream and spread to other organs occurs. The bacteria further multiply in organs that have high oxygen pressures, such as the upper lobes of the lungs, the kidneys, bone marrow, and meninges — the membrane-like coverings of the brain and spinal cord.

Tuberculosis continues to be a major health problem worldwide. In 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that one-third of the global population was infected with TB bacteria:
— 8.8 million new cases of TB developed.
— 1.6 million people died of this disease in 2005.
— Each person with untreated active TB will infect on average 10-15 people each year.
— A new infection occurs every second.

In 2009, the TB rate in the United States was 3.8 cases per 100,000 population, a slight decrease from the prior year. Four states (California, Florida, New York, and Texas) accounted for the majority of all new TB cases (50.3%).

With the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis continues to lay waste to large populations. The emergence of drug-resistant organisms threatens to make this disease once again incurable.

In 1993, the WHO declared tuberculosis a global emergency.

Learn More

NOTE: Never give a child under the age of 19 aspirin or aspirin products without first talking to your doctor because you could trigger a deadly disease known as Reye’s Syndrome.

More Information:

On WordPress:
https://reyessyndrome.wordpress.com/category/vaccinations/pandemics-a-case-for-vaccinations/
https://reyessyndrome.wordpress.com/category/vaccinations/about-vaccinations/

PDF Downloads & Handouts:
Who Should NOT be Vaccinated: http://www.reyessyndrome.org/pdfs/Vaccines_ VPD-VAC_Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated_.pdf
Vaccination and Milestone Tracker: http://www.reyessyndrome.org/pdfs/CDC_milestones-tracker.pdf
Immunizations Record – 7 – 18 Years of Age: http://www.reyesyndrome.org/pdfs/CDC_parent-version-schedule-7-18yrs.pdf
Immunizations Record – 7 – 18 Years of Age – Spanish Version: http://www.reyessyndrome.org/pdfs/CDC_parent-version-schedule-7-18yrs-sp.pdf
Vaccine Information Statement: http://www.reyessyndrome.org/pdfs/CDC_Vaccination_Statement.pdf
You Can Prevent These 8 Diseases: http://www.reyessyndrome.org/pdfs/vaccines_can_prevent_8_diseases.pdf

Other Resources:
What is a Vaccine: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/vaccines/understanding/Pages/whatVaccine.aspx
Vaccine Resources at CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html
Reye’s Syndrome: http://www.reyessyndrome.org
CDC Vaccine Video, Get The Picture: http://www.cdc.gov/CDCTV/GetThePicture/index.html

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Childhood Vaccines Can Prevent These 8 Diseases

Childhood Vaccines Can Prevent These 8 Diseases

Diphtheria
Signs and symptoms include a thick covering in the back of the throat that can make it hard to breathe.childhood_vaccines_can_prevent_these_8_diseases
Diphtheria can lead to breathing problems, and heart failure.

Tetanus (Lockjaw)
Signs and symptoms include painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body.
Tetanus can lead to stiffness of the jaw so victims can’t open their mouth or swallow.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Signs and symptoms include violent coughing spells that can make it hard for a baby to eat, drink, or breathe. These spells can last for weeks.
Pertussis can lead to pneumonia, seizures, and brain damage.

Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
Signs and symptoms can include trouble breathing. There may not be any signs or symptoms in mild cases.
Hib can lead to (infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings); pneumonia; infections of the blood, joints, bones, and covering of the heart; brain damage; and deafness.

Hepatitis B
Signs and symptoms can include tiredness, diarrhea and vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), and pain in muscles, joints and stomach. But usually there are no signs or symptoms at all.
Hepatitis B can lead to liver damage, and liver cancer.

Polio
Signs and symptoms can include flu-like illness, or there may be no signs or symptoms at all.
Polio can lead to paralysis (can’t move an arm or leg).

Pneumococcal Disease
Signs and symptoms include fever, chills, cough, and chest pain.
Pneumococcal disease can lead to meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings), blood infections, ear infections, pneumonia, deafness, and brain damage.

Rotavirus
Signs and symptoms include watery diarrhea (sometimes severe), vomiting, fever, and stomach pain.
Rotavirus can lead to dehydration and hospitalization.
Any of these diseases can lead to death.

How do babies catch these diseases?

Usually from contact with other children or adults who are already infected, sometimes without even knowing they are infected. A mother with Hepatitis B infection can also infect her baby at birth. Tetanus enters the body through a cut or wound; it is not spread from person to person.

Download a Handout

More Resources:

What is a Vaccine: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/vaccines/understanding/Pages/whatVaccine.aspx
Vaccine Resources at CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html
Reye’s Syndrome: http://www.reyessyndrome.org
CDC Vaccine Video, Get The Picture: http://www.cdc.gov/CDCTV/GetThePicture/index.html
CDC: Vaccinations

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What Are Vaccinations?

How Vaccines Work:
Vaccines help make you immune to serious diseases without getting sick first. Without a vaccine, you must actually get a disease in order to become immune to the germ that causes it. Vaccines work best when they are given at certain ages. For example, children don’t receive measles vaccine until they are at least one year old. If it is given earlier it might not work as well. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes a schedule for childhood vaccines from birth to 18 years of age.

Understanding the difference between vaccines, vaccinations, and immunizations can be tricky. Below is an easy guide that explains how these terms are used:

A vaccine is a product that produces immunity from a disease and can be administered through needle injections, by mouth, or by aerosol.

A vaccination is the injection of a killed or weakened organism that produces immunity in the body against that organism.

An immunization is the process by which a person or animal becomes protected from a disease. Vaccines cause immunization, and there are also some diseases that cause immunization after an individual recovers from the disease.

Vaccines are held to the highest standard of safety. The United States currently has the safest, most effective vaccine supply in history. Vaccines undergo a rigorous and extensive evaluation program to determine a product’s safety and effectiveness. If a vaccine does receive approval by FDA, it is continuously monitored for safety and effectiveness.

Vaccine Benefits: Why get vaccinated?

Diseases have injured and killed many children over the years in the United States. Polio paralyzed about 37,000 and killed about 1,700 every year in the 1950s.

Hib disease was once the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children under 5 years of age. About 15,000 people died each year from diphtheria before there was a vaccine. Up to 70,000 children a year were hospitalized because of rotavirus disease. Hepatitis B can cause liver damage and cancer in 1 child out of 4 who are infected, and tetanus kills 1 out of every 5 who get it.

Thanks mostly to vaccines, these diseases are not nearly as common as they used to be. But they have not disappeared, either. Some are common in other countries, and if we stop vaccinating they will come back here. This has already happened in some parts of the world. When vaccination rates go down, disease rates go up.

Precautions

Most babies can safely get vaccines. But some babies should not get certain vaccines. Your doctor will help you decide.

  • A child who has ever had a serious reaction, such as a life-threatening allergic reaction, after a vaccine dose should not get another dose of that vaccine. Tell your doctor if your child has any severe allergies, or has had a severe reaction after a prior vaccination. (Serious reactions to vaccines and severe allergies are rare.)
  • A child who is sick on the day vaccinations are scheduled might be asked to come back for them.

Talk to your doctor…

  • before getting DTaP vaccine, if your child ever had any of these reactions after a dose of DTaP:
  • A brain or nervous system disease within 7 days,
  • Non-stop crying for 3 hours or more,
  • A seizure or collapse,
  • A fever of over 105°F.
  • before getting Polio vaccine, if your child has a life-threatening allergy to the antibiotics neomycin, streptomycin or polymyxin B.
  • before getting Hepatitis B vaccine, if your child has a life-threatening allergy to yeast.
  • before getting Rotavirus Vaccine, if your child has:
  • SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency),
  • A weakened immune system for any other reason,
  • Digestive problems,
  • Recently gotten a blood transfusion or other blood product,
  • Ever had intussusception (bowel obstruction that is treated in a hospital).
  • before getting PCV13 or DTaP vaccine, if your child ever had a severe reaction after any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid (such as DTaP).

Risks

Vaccines can cause side effects, like any medicine.  Most vaccine reactions are mild: tenderness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given; or a mild fever. These happen to about 1 child in 4. They appear soon after the shot is given and go away within a day or two.

Other Reactions

Individual childhood vaccines have been associated with other mild problems, or with moderate or serious problems:

  • DTaP vaccine
  • Mild problems: Fussiness (up to 1 child in 3); tiredness or poor appetite (up to 1 child in 10); vomiting (up to 1 child in 50); swelling of the entire arm or leg for 1-7 days (up to 1 child in 30) – usually after the 4th or 5th dose.
  • Moderate problems: Seizure (1 child in 14,000); non-stop crying for 3 hours or longer (up to 1 child in 1,000); fever over 105°F (1 child in 16,000).
  • Serious problems: Long term seizures, coma, lowered consciousness, and permanent brain damage have been reported. These problems happen so rarely that it is hard to tell whether they were actually caused by the vaccination or just happened afterward by chance.

Polio vaccine / Hepatitis B vaccine / Hib vaccine

  • These vaccines have not been associated with other mild problems, or with moderate or serious problems.

Pneumococcal vaccine

  • Mild problems: During studies of the vaccine, some children became fussy or drowsy or lost their appetite.

Rotavirus vaccine

  • Mild problems: Children who get rotavirus vaccine are slightly more likely than other children to be irritable or to have mild, temporary diarrhea or vomiting. This happens within the first week after getting a dose of the vaccine.
  • Serious problems: Studies in Australia and Mexico have shown a small increase in cases of intussusception within a week after the first dose of rotavirus vaccine. So far, this increase has not been seen in the United States, but it can’t be ruled out. If the same risk were to exist here, we would expect to see 1 to 3 infants out of 100,000 develop intussusception within a week after the first dose of vaccine.

Download a Who Should Not Get Vaccinated Handout

What if there is a serious reaction?

What should I look for?
Look for anything that concerns you, such as signs of a severe allergic reaction, very high fever, or behavior changes.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.

What should I do?
If you think it is a severe allergic reaction or other emergency that can’t wait, call 9-1-1 or get the person to the nearest hospital. Otherwise, call your doctor.

Afterward, the reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your doctor might file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS web siteExternal Web Site Icon, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.

Vaccination is one of the best ways parents can protect infants, children, and teens from 16 potentially harmful diseases. Vaccine-preventable diseases can be very serious, may require hospitalization, or even be deadly – especially in infants and young children.

Free Immunization and Developmental Milestones for your child – Birth to 6 years of age

Recommended Immunizations Children 7 – 18 years of agecdc_vaccine_tracker
Spanish Version

Interpreting Abbreviations on Records

To interpret commonly used acronyms and abbreviations that health care professionals use to record vaccinations, consult the Vaccine and Acronyms and Abbreviations list. This list also contains manufacturers’ trade names for vaccines and some common abbreviations for vaccine-preventable diseases.

And Remember: Never give a child under the age of 19 aspirin or aspirin products without first talking with a doctor.  You could trigger a deadly disease known as Reye’s Syndrome.

Resources:

What is a Vaccine: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/vaccines/understanding/Pages/whatVaccine.aspx
Vaccine Resources at CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/index.html
Reye’s Syndrome: http://www.reyessyndrome.org
CDC Vaccine Video, Get The Picture: http://www.cdc.gov/CDCTV/GetThePicture/index.html
CDC: Vaccinations

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Pepto Bismol and Children

The Pink Stuff – Harmless or Deadly…

Bismuth Sub-salicylate is a drug used to treat temporary discomforts of the stomach and gastrointestinal tract such as diarrhea, indigestion, heartburn and nausea. Commonly known as pink bismuth, it is the active ingredient in medications such as Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate.

Bismuth subsalicylate is in a class of medications called antidiarrheal agents. It works by decreasing the flow of fluids and electrolytes into the bowel, reduces inflammation within the intestine, and may kill the organisms that can cause diarrhea.

But, in the gastrointestinal tract, Bismuth Sub-salicylate is converted to salicylic acid (aspirin) and insoluble bismuth harmless_or_deadly_find_outsalts.

There are adverse effects with this drug, most prominently; Reye’s Syndrome. It can also cause a black tongue and black stools in some users of the drug, when it combines with trace amounts of sulfur in saliva and the colon to form bismuth sulfide. Bismuth sulfide is a highly insoluble black salt, and the discoloration seen is temporary and and supposedly harmless.

Children should not take medication with bismuth subsalicylate because epidemiologic evidence points to an association between the use of salicylate-containing medications during viral infections and the onset of Reye’s Syndrome.

Never give a child under the age of 19 any product with aspirin when suffering from flu symptoms or a viral infection, including products like Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate!

For the same reason, it is recommended that nursing mothers not use medication containing bismuth subsalicylate like Pepto-Bismol because small amounts of the medication are excreted in breast milk and pose a risk of triggering Reye’s Syndrome to nursing children.

pepto_burnedBismuth subsalicylate is the only active ingredient in an over the counter Drug that can leave a shiny metal oxide slag behind after being completely burnt with a blow torch.

 

 

 

Before you, as an adult, take bismuth subsalicylate:
— tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to salicylate pain relievers such as aspirin, choline magnesium trisalicylate, choline salicylate (Arthropan), diflunisal (Dolobid), magnesium salicylate (Doan’s, others), and salsalate (Argesic, Disalcid, Salgesic); or any other medication.

— tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about taking bismuth subsalicylate if you take: anticoagulants (‘blood thinners’) such as warfarin (Coumadin); a daily aspirin; or medication for diabetes, arthritis or gout.

— if you are taking tetracycline antibiotics such as demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Doryx, Vibramycin), minocycline (Dynacin, Minocin), and tetracycline (Sumycin), take them at least 1 hour before or 3 hours after taking bismuth subsalicylate.

— ask your doctor before taking this medication if you have ever had an ulcer, bleeding problem, stools that are bloody or blackened, or kidney disease. Also ask your doctor before taking bismuth subsalicylate if you have a fever or mucus in your stool.

We never recommend giving bismuth subsalicylate to a child or teenager, but if you do, be sure to tell the child’s doctor if the child has any of the following symptoms before he or she receives the medication: vomiting, listlessness, drowsiness, confusion, aggression, seizures, yellowing of the skin or eyes, weakness, or flu-like symptoms. Also tell the child’s doctor if the child has not been drinking normally, has had excessive vomiting or diarrhea, or appears dehydrated.

— ask your doctor about taking this medication if you are pregnant or are breast-feeding.pepto_not_for_kids

Brand Names:
Bismusal®
Kaopectate®
Peptic Relief®
Pepto-Bismol®
Pink Bismuth®
Stomach Relief®

You can get a complete list of medications containing bismuth subsalicylate by clicking this link

Please think twice, and read the label warnings, before giving a child under the age of 19 any drugs that contain aspirin, salicylates, or bismuth-subsalicylate! You can get a list of ‘other names for aspirin’ here.

And always remember: Kids and Aspirin Products DON’T Mix!

Related Information:

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Kids and OTC Medicines Kids Should NOT Take!

FDA Statement: “Aside from drugs for fever or pain, most over-the-counter products haven’t actually been studied in children for effectiveness, safety, or dosing.”

In a recent poll conducted by University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, 40 percent of parents are giving some_drugs_are_not_for_childrenchildren under the age of 4 over the counter cold medicines, even after the FDA issued a warning that OTC medicines should not be used in this age group.  Twenty Five percent of these parents gave their child decongestants!

Manufacturers of OTC cold medicines changed their warning labels in 2008 to reflect the dangers of giving these medicines to young children, Six years of age and under.

One of the problems is that the medicines themselves are still labeled “Children’s” medication, and just like the issue with “Baby” aspirin, parents don’t think to read the label and they assume the product is safe for all children when in fact, it is not.

(Currently, there is no longer a product packaged or marketed as “baby aspirin” because in 2011, the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation met with the FDA, stressing the danger in using the term “baby” in representing low-dose aspirin. FDA and aspirin manufacturers agreed, and there is no such thing as ‘baby’ aspirin anymore, and children are safer because of this change.)

The side effects from use of cough and cold medicines in young children may include:

  • allergic reactions
  • increased or uneven heart rate
  • drowsiness or sleeplessness
  • slow and shallow breathing
  • confusion or hallucinations
  • convulsions
  • nausea
  • constipation.

“Products like these may work for adults, and parents think it could help their children as well. But what’s good for adults is not always good for children,” says Dr Matthew Davis, Director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

READ. THE. LABEL.learn_to_read_labels

OTC drugs have information on the bottle or box. Always read this information before using the medicine. This information tells you:

How much to give; Medication doses for infants and young children are based on age and weight. Know your child’s weight.

Follow the directions for age and weight. If the recommended age is not your child’s age, don’t give the medicine.

If no dose is given on the bottle or package for children under 12 years old, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is OK to give the medicine to your child, how much you should give, and when you should give it.

Liquid medicines usually come with a cup, spoon or syringe to help measure the right dose. Always use these devices to give medicine to infants and very young children. Using a kitchen teaspoon is not an accurate way to measure. A teaspoon is usually considered to be 5 cc or 5 mL, but kitchen teaspoons can vary in size from between 2 mL and 10 mL.

If you want to mix medicine with milk or formula, first put the medicine in one ounce of milk and have the child drink it all. Then feed the remaining formula or milk in the bottle and let them finish however much more they want.

Always measure or give medication with a good light turned on. Insufficient light could cause you to give the wrong medicine or the wrong dose.

Never let young children take medicine by themselves.

How often to give Medicines; Some medicines state every 6 hours, or every 8 hours. Does this mean ‘waking’ hours; hours when the child is awake, or actual hours as around the clock? Ask your Pharmacist this question so you know exactly when to give your child the medicine. Then keep track of the times you give the medicine to your child on a chart tapped to your refridgerator, or the location the medication is stored.

What the drug contains – Be certain you are not double dosing your child!

Many OTC cough and cold medicines contain a combination of ingredients to treat several symptoms. Your child might be getting some of the same ingredients in other medicines. For example, Tylenol and Nyquil contain the same ingredient, acetaminophen. Be sure to read the list of active ingredients (the ingredients that make the medicine work) for each OTC medicine you give your child to make sure he or she is not getting a double dose of the same medication. You need to make sure that the total amount of a medicine does not exceed the recommended dose.

Combinations of medicines found in multi-symptom medicines may cause side effects in children. The combination of antihistamines and decongestants in some “cold remedy” medicines can have side effects such as hyperactivity, sleeplessness and irritability in children. To be safe, don’t combine prescriptions, supplements or multi-symptom medicines without checking with your health care provider or pharmacist.

Watch The Ingredients List:

Sometimes the ingredients for a medicine change but the name stays the same. For example, the formulation of Kaopectate, an OTC medicine for diarrhea, changed so it now contains bismuth subsalicylate. The older versions contained only kaolin and pectin. (Bismuth subsalicylate is also found in Pepto-Bismol, an OTC medicine for upset stomach and diarrhea.) Bismuth subsalicylate is NOT recommended for children younger than 19 because of the risk of the rare but deadly condition; Reye’s Syndrome.

Because of Reye’s syndrome, DO NOT give a child younger than 19 any product with aspirin or similar drugs called “salicylates” unless your doctor tells you to. Instead of aspirin or other salicylates, you can give your child acetaminophen (sold as Tylenol and other brands). There are many names for aspirin (salicylates) and you can see the list here: https://reyessyndrome.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/other-names-for-aspirin/

Be sure to take into consideration the concentrations of ingredients when you determine the amount you give your child. Medicines with the same brand name can be sold in different strengths, including infant, children and adult formulas. Infant drops of some medicines, for example, are stronger than the liquid elixir of the same medicine for toddlers or children. This is because infants may not be able to drink a large volume of medicine to give their proper dosage. Don’t make the mistake of giving higher doses of the infant drops to a toddler thinking the drops are not as strong.

Warnings about using the drug: Always Read the ‘Black Box’ – the warnings box!

If the drug is safe for children of certain ages: If your child’s age is not listed, do not use the product. One exception to age, is the Reye’s Syndrome warning on labels: The National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation collects Case Reports of Reye’s Syndrome and has found that Reye’s predominately attacks children up to the age of 19, whereas the FDA label only states age 12. Don’t use aspirin or aspirin containing products in children under the age of 19.

And if you are not sure – Ask the Pharmacist at the store. They will be happy to help you!

Other Tips:

Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse to find out what mixes well and what doesn’t. Medicines, vitamins, supplements, foods and beverages don’t always mix well with one another. Select products with the fewest number of ingredients needed to treat your symptoms.

Talk to your Doctor or Pharmacist before giving a child a ‘home remedy’, or homeopathic drug found on the Internet!  Many of these are quite harmful, and have no professional approval to use.  Know what you are giving your child, otherwise, it could be deadly!

Don’t call medications “candy.” If children come upon medications at a later time, they may consider it “candy” and eat it without your knowing.

Always use child-resistant caps and store medicines in a safe place. Relock the cap after each use. Be especially careful with any products that contain iron; they are the leading cause of poisoning deaths in young children. All medications become less effective (expire) over time and should be replaced. Check the expiration date before using any product.

Store medicines in a cool, dry area. The heat from kitchens and the moisture from bathrooms decrease the effectiveness of medications.  Store all medications out of the reach of children.

Before you give a medicine, check the outside packaging for damage such as cuts, slices, or tears; check the label on the download_free_medication_chartinside package to be sure you have the right medicine. Make sure the lid and seal are not broken. Check the color, shape, size and smell of the medicine. If you notice anything different or unusual, talk to a pharmacist or your health care provider.

Use a chart to keep track of dosage dates and times.  A Free Chart can be downloaded by clicking here.

Classes of OTC Medicines

Analgesics treat pain and fever:

Use caution with different forms of these drugs, because some are more concentrated than others. Common analgesics for infants and children are acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin).

WARNINGS:

  • DO NOT give aspirin to children younger than 19, because it can cause a rare but deadly disease called Reye’s Syndrome.
  • DO NOT use ibuprofen in children younger than 6 months. Know how much your child weighs before giving ibuprofen.

Antihistamines treat runny noses, itchy eyes and sneezing caused by allergies (but not colds). Some can cause sleepiness. Examples of antihistamines include brompheniramine (often in combination with decongestants such as phenylephrine as in Dimetapp and other medicines); chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton and other medicines); diphenhydramine (Benadryl and other medicines); cetrizine (Zyrtec); and loratadine (Claritin and other medicines).

WARNINGS:

  • These are not recommended for children younger than 6, because they can even affect learning.
  • Use only with your health care provider’s advice in young infants or children with asthma.

Expectorants and combination cough medications may help loosen mucus. Cough suppressants numb the reflex to cough. Coughing is necessary to clear mucus and debris bacteria from the lungs, so check with your child’s health care provider before using cough-suppressing syrups. Guaifenesin, an expectorant, promotes the production of thin mucus that is more easily removed by coughing.

WARNINGS:

  • These are not recomended for children under the age of 6.

Decongestants can relieve stuffiness caused by allergies or colds by temporarily shrinking the membranes in the nose to make breathing easier. They should not be used for more than two to three consecutive days. Decongestants taken by mouth can have a number of side effects such as irritability, sleeplessness, dizziness. Examples of decongestants include phenylephrine (found in Neo-Synephrine nose drops and other medicines); and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, PediaCare Infant Decongestant Drops and other medicines).

WARNINGS:

  • These are not recommended for children under the age of 6.

Medicines for diarrhea. These are usually not necessary. Instead, give your child plenty of fluids and let the disease run its course. Diarrhea, however, can be dangerous in newborns and infants. In small children, severe diarrhea lasting just a day or two can lead to dehydration. Because a child can die from dehydration within a few days, you should see a health care provider as soon as possible if an infant has diarrhea. Talk to your provider before giving these medicines to infants or children.

WARNINGS:

  • Diarrhea medicines containing bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate, and other medicines) should NOT be given to a child younger than 19, as these could trigger Reye’s Syndrome, a deadly disease in children.
  • Loperamide (Imodium and other medicines), should NOT be given to a child younger than 6.

Laxatives relieve constipation and work by several methods. Some add fiber or water to stool to make it more bulky and easier for intestines to eliminate it; some coat the surface of the stool to make it more slippery; some soften the stool so it passes more easily; and others cause the intestines to contract more forcefully. Examples of laxatives include glycerin suppositories; magnesium citrate; magnesium hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia and other medicines); mineral oil (Agoral, Kondremul and other medicines); psyllium (Metamucil, Fiberall and other medicines); senna (Senokot, Ex-Lax and other medicines); methylcellulose (Citrucel and others), castor oil, and sodium phosphate (Fleet and other medicines).

WARNINGS:

  • DO NOT give infants or children laxatives without talking to your child’s health care provider.

Summary:
Aside from drugs for fever or pain, most over-the-counter products haven’t actually been studied in children for effectiveness, safety, or dosing.

  • When you give medicine to your child, be sure you’re giving the right medicine and the right amount.
  • Read and follow the label directions.
  • Use the correct dosing device. If the label says two teaspoons and you’re using a dosing cup with ounces only, don’t guess. Get the proper measuring device. Don’t substitute another item, such as a kitchen spoon.
  • Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider before giving two medicines at the same time. That way, you can avoid a possible overdose or an unwanted interaction.
  • Follow age and weight limit recommendations. If the label says don’t give to children under a certain age or weight, don’t do it.

Resources:
National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation, Food and Drug Administration, CDC, National Institutes of Health

Related Information:
What Is Reye’s Syndrome
Aspirin and Reye’s Syndrome
Other Names for Aspirin
Teens & Aspirin
Chicken Pox Parties
Herbal Remedies

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