Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | April 10, 2013

Ethiopian Adoptions FDA STATEMENT- MUST READ

The FDA has recently put out a statement regarding a major concern for children receiving tonsillectomies and/or adenoidectomies. In these procedures, oftentimes codeine is administered to the child during or after the procedure. There have been three deaths recently of children who are receiving these procedures and receive codeine during or after the procedure.

Typically when codeine is ingested by an individual, it is converted by the liver into morphine. However some at risk children have a specific genetic enzyme which causes the codeine to more rapidly and more efficiently convert to morphine. The FDA is calling these children “Ultra-Rapid Metabolizers.”

The FDA has made the statement that if your child is receiving codeine, and experiences sleepiness, confusion, and difficult or noisy breathing, discontinue giving them codeine and immediately call 911 or take them to the emergency room.

The statistic for most children who are Ultra-Rapid Metabolizers is 1-6%. However an astounding 29% of Ethiopian children are Ultra-Rapid Metabolizers. Therefore if you have adopted from Ethiopia, please be aware of this statistic and of the cautions given by the FDA.

With any child, codeine should only be used in necessary cases. If your child is of Ethiopian heritage, and your physician desires to use codeine, please discuss this information in detail with your physician before a decision is made.

If you want to further educate yourself, here is the link to the FDA website:


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