The Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday that any child younger than 12 should not take the opioid codeine, and those 18 and younger should not take tramadol, another painkiller, after certain surgeries. In addition, nursing mothers should avoid both drugs, since they pose dangers to breast-feeding babies, the agency said.
“The problem with both codeine and tramadol is that some people are “ultrarapid metabolizers” whose livers metabolize the drugs way too quickly, causing dangerously high levels of opioids to build up, said Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, the deputy director for regulatory programs at the F.D.A.’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
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