Friday, April 19, 2013

Special Health Alert for Ethiopian Children: Codeine

“The FDA recently announced that there have been 3 deaths in young children related to the administration of oral codeine after tonsillectomy. Children at risk have a specific enzyme that concerts codeine to morphine more rapidly and completely than the average person. The prevalence of this gene in African-Americans, Caucasians, and Asians is typically low (1-6%), but the prevalence in Ethiopian children is about 30%. It might be a good idea to inform parents who have adopted from Ethiopia that they might talk to their child’s doctor about this if their child needs medication for postoperative pain.”
Nancy Curtis, MD, FAAP

International Adoption Clinic at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland

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