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Kids abusing OTCs

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Too many children are using over-the-counter headache medicines without telling their parents-and without understanding how dangerous the drugs can be when taken in large doses

Too many children are using over-the-counter headache medicines without telling their parents-and without understanding how dangerous the drugs can be when taken in large doses.

According to what one US doctor has seen in his private practice, large numbers of children are using these medications five or six times per week-some take 15 to 20 doses per week. Dr. David Rothner and colleagues treated 680 children between the ages of six and 18 for headaches. More than 20 percent overused over-the-counter painkillers. Chronic daily headaches increase as kids get older and, by age 15, approximately 15 percent suffer from them. Some kids are predisposed to headaches; stress may increase this disposition. Most of the children in the study named school as their main stressor.

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