Drug abuse, or the indiscriminate use of drugs, has its own side effects. Some of these effects are either due to wrong application, wrong or poor prescription, over usage of the medications or not following the necessary precautions.
Some drugs combinations are dangerous enough on their own. When drugs are combined, they can have side effects and deadly for the user while some combination has no side effects.
There are lots of fake stories been carried on social media. These stories warn us about dangers, and when these stories are related to health issues, I try to get the fact by digging deep. One of such fake stories usually involves the use of Motrin and Robitussin for kids.
A story claims that these medications can cause heart attacks in children and are dangerous when taken together. All through I have known these drugs; personally I have never encountered any such warning.
What is Motrin?
Generic Name is ibuprofen. Motrin is an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). They function to reduce hormones that cause body pain and inflammations.
They are used to relieve fever, treat inflammation or pain which is caused by lots of conditions like toothache, headache, minor injuries, or menstrual cramps
Important information on Motrin.
- If used for too long or take high doses, Motrin can increase your risk of stroke and fatal heart attack.
- Don’t use the medication after or just before heart bypass surgery (CABG, or coronary artery bypass graft).
- Avoid drinking alcohol while using Motrin
- Avoid taking aspirin while using Motrin.
What is Robitussin?
Generic Name is guaifenesin. Robitussin is an expectorant. Robitussin helps loosen congestion in your throat and chest so that you can cough out easily through your mouth. These congestions are caused by infections, common cold, or allergies.
Important information on Robitussin
- If you are allergic to Robitussin (guaifenesin), don’t use this medicine.
- Do not use it for longer than recommended or in larger amounts.
- Robitussin should not be given to children under age 4.
- Drink more water while taking this medication to loosen congestion in your throat.
Can Motrin and Robitussin Cause Heart Attacks in Kids?
Motrin and Robitussin are common medications; no one wants to knowingly or unknowingly harm their kids. So parents who see this warning below would be concerned:
Madison, age 8, passed away just a few days ago. We’ve been asked to pass this on. Doctors told her family that there had been quite a few children Madison’s age that has died recently the same way that she did. The only common link between them was that they were given Motrin (ibuprofen) and Robitussin together, this caused a heart attack.
They believe this is what happened to them. They told her to alert everyone to this. Do not give children both of these medicines together. You can give them one or the other but not both.
When Madison collapsed, she suffered a heart attack, and they were able to revive her, but the loss of oxygen damaged her brain, and she was put on the respirator. After this, she had four strokes before she died after being taken off the respirator.
Please pass this on…
Since the year 2008, the story has been circulating with no clear origin. The story was framed upon and unverifiable; the account provided no information regarding Madison’s surname, who her doctors were, where she lived, the date she died or where she was treated.
From many studies, we have not seen any confirmation of heart attacks resulted from the combination of the two OTC medications, either in adults or in children. However, it is not advisable for kids to be taking over-the-counter cold medications.
Safety of Motrin and Robitussin
Do not panic; the threat is not real. No ingredients in Motrin that contain ibuprofen or Robitussin (which, depending on the type and formulation that you get, contains dextromethorphan; is a medication used as a cough suppressant and sometimes Chlorphenamine is also known as chlorpheniramine— an antihistamine) that interact with each other.
Also, a widespread warning would have been put to the public health care providers and health officials if there were any such danger as these medications are widely used. So, the claim is unproven.
There are possibilities of Heart attacks in children, but they are very rare. Most kids that get sick and die; the result of their death is caused by respiratory failure. Which means the lungs stopped working before the heart does.
Also Read: Causes of Orange poop
The claim about the danger of combining Motrin and Robitussin is a myth. Nevertheless, ensure you read the directions for all OTC medications and follow the prescribed dosage. Tell your doctor about all medicines you make use of. These medications might cause some mild side effects after taking them such dizziness, and upset stomach.