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Pharmacy and Medications

Mequitazine and Small Children

02/10/2011

Question:

Hi expert, The dose of Mequitazine is based on the kg of the body weight, that is 1 spoonful (the enclsoed spoon = 2.5 ml = 1.25mg of Mequitazine) for 5 kg of body weight (this is the dose of Mequitazine with brand name Primalan). Does this mean that it can be used for any age? It is difficult when my child has allergy because he is so small (under 2 years) and I am aware that for this age group, antihistamine has to be used with extreme caution. Can this medicine be given to any children no matter how old they are?

Answer:

Mequitazine is a second-generation antihistamine that is not available in the United States. However, it is available in numerous countries around the world including many European countries, Korea and Mexico. Based on information provided in drug monographs from Mexico, and France, mequitazine is not recommended for use in children less than 6 years of age. The product information from a manufacturer in Korea, states that mequitazine use is contraindicated in children less than 2 years of age. 

This drug is a derivative of the drug class called phenothiazines, Another medicine in this class is promethazine. The phenothiazines have been associated with respiratory fatalities including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and seizure-associated sleep apnea in children less than 2 years of age. Based on this information we cannot recommend using mequitazine in children less than 2 years of age. Use in children less than six years old is probably too risky compared to any likely benefit. It is most likely that other, safer antihistamines available for use in children less than 2 years of age in your country’s pharmacopeia. 

The laws and labeling regarding the use of medicines in small children vary from country to country. In the USA, very few medicines are available without a prescription for children less than 2years old. Ask your child’s doctor which medicine is best for your child.

This response was prepared by Joseph Dunigan and Joori Noh, PharmD candidates at the University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy

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Response by:

Robert James Goetz, PharmD, DABAT
Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati