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Why on earth are these Enumbers in Calpol?

(58 Posts)
nickeldaisical Wed 19-Sep-12 16:42:08

just looking at the ingredients, and googles the E-numbers on the calpol bottle.

found this

calpol has got:
e420, e218, e216 and e214.

all of the 2s are preservatives recommended not to be used in children's food, so why medicine?

they're banned in some countries!

Mandinga79 Wed 19-Sep-12 20:04:42

E numbers aren't going to kill your child. A fever, or medication that's gone off because it hasn't got preservatives in it, will.

And I trust you don't give Calpol to your child in food-like quantities?

Aboutlastnight Wed 19-Sep-12 20:08:27

I always wondered about all the colouring -although medinol is colour free.

Also antibiotics - DD1s teeth were stained yellow by some a few years ago.

mummysmellsofsick Wed 19-Sep-12 20:13:49

I know. I refuse to give it to DS.

And why sweeteners AND sugar? I cannot bear sweetners I'd have to be pretty desperate to resort to calpol tbh.

mummysmellsofsick Wed 19-Sep-12 20:17:17

Also madinga a mild fever will not kill a healthy child. It just has to be monitored very carefully so it doesn't get dangerously high. I was never given anything but cold flannels for a fever when growing up. Fevers are the body's extremely effective immune response.

DeWe Wed 19-Sep-12 20:24:19

I once wrote to a cough medication maufacturer about their medicine designed for age 6 months to 6 years. It had in E110 (sunset yellow) and another one known to cause allergies (esp hyperactivity and other ones-my db got asthma off them). I asked them to justify using a azo dye in a child's medication, whether they needed to use colourant at all, or why they didn't use natural colour (beta carotene)

About a month later I received the letter back ripped up with "Not known at this address" written across it. The pharmacy said it was the right address they got the stuff from. shock

Unfortunately I was being somewhat sick with pg#2 at the time and didn't have the energy to chase it up...

RikersBeard Wed 19-Sep-12 20:28:08

Colorants in children's medicines really annoy me. There is no reason for them, and when you have to give something bright orange to an unweaned newborn it's quite distressing. Flavourings yes, colourings no.

Especially when the substances are banned in other countries, and are not commonly found in foods because they are known to cause allergies, illness and behavioural problems. I wish the MHRA would do something about it.

mummysmellsofsick Wed 19-Sep-12 21:00:12

Then there was this a while back possible asthma link

BabydollsMum Wed 19-Sep-12 21:44:44

Wow, this site even has "a list of childrens foods containing additives known to cause tantrums".

Er, surely being a toddler causes tantrums? Show me ONE non-tantrumming toddler on this Earth and I might think about it.

We need to be careful of knee-jerk reactions here, surely. Yes, there's probably some nasty stuff in Calpol but as Mandings points out, they're mostly preservatives - needed precisely because a bottle of the stuff can last months if it isn't abused.

nickeldaisical Thu 20-Sep-12 12:27:50

ooh, that's interesting mummy

I wonder what the additives that cause the asthma are?
(DH's asthma has recently started up again, and I wonder if he's eating things with additives in that might be affecting it...)

But you should throw old medicine out anyway, Baby so i can't see you needing preservatives.

milkyjo Fri 21-Sep-12 09:21:40

I'd still give my children calpol, usually tesco paracetamol suspension, if they had a temp. If this is a real worry, try getting soluble paracetamol tablets, but it would be very difficult to get a child to take it.

The bottle would last about 5 days from when the medicine was made if it had no preservatives in it. All jars of food have some sort of preservative in, whether natural or chemical surely?

mummysmellsofsick Fri 21-Sep-12 09:38:51

do not give children soluble paracetamol tablets!

How on earth would you know you'd got the dose right? You could kill them.

Surprised that not many people seem to worry about calpol though. Hardly anyone has posted on this thread. Why would paracetamol suspended in a sugar syrup need preservatives? Sugar is great for preserving, and if you must add colour there are natural colours like beetroot that aren't so problematic. Can anyone with a chemistry/ pharma background explain?

mummysmellsofsick Fri 21-Sep-12 09:40:34

Or you they could make baby dose soluble tablets that you could dissolve in a drink of your DC's choice, prob a sugary one to mask the taste?

milkyjo Fri 21-Sep-12 10:29:25

OK sorry I do drug calculations in my job and forgot, we still use it but usually it goes through a tube and bypasses the mouth. Still I don't think there is anyway a baby would swallow it, it's still gross however much you try and mask it. I have memories from being made to drink it in squash as a child. I can't stand squash even now!

milkyjo Fri 21-Sep-12 10:35:30

How about dry powder sachets that you add water to - like the gaviscon sachets. Add 5ml water and give according to dosage instructions? Dried ingredients need less preservatives surely. I'd still give my child calpol though!

nickeldaisical Fri 21-Sep-12 10:36:37

it was the specific preservatives, rather than any preservatives at all, milkyjo

as DD is 9 months old, i don't see why it needs to be sweet and strawberry flavoured anyway...

Panzee Fri 21-Sep-12 10:40:03

You can get infant Disprol if you prefer.

amillionyears Fri 21-Sep-12 10:41:44

I used to give it to the kids when they needed it when they were younger,and didnt really think twice.
Then there was that article that mummysmellsofsick linked to,and I realised I had been far to gung ho.
I think I had been lulled inot a false sense of security by GPs,whose answer to everything back then seemed to be Calpol.
Now realise that it is a medicine,and more concerning really,as merrily giving it to tiny infants.

amillionyears Fri 21-Sep-12 10:43:18

Should have said,I am not saying dont use it,absolutely not saying that,but saying use with care and consideration.

mummysmellsofsick Fri 21-Sep-12 11:35:14

GPs still do seem to recommend calpol as the solution to everything. I think most people over medicate things because it's quicker than old fashioned nursing. But all drugs have side effects and additives. They should always be used with care.

GlaikitFizzog Fri 21-Sep-12 11:48:30

Calpol is no longer recommended to reduce a fever according to my surgery.

And I agree it shouldn't be given willy nilly to children, but faced with an inconsolable teething child in the middle of the night screaming his head off, I weigh up the risks of the enumbers and gave him calpol AND ibuprofen. I buy the full sugar version, which is lurid pink, but it gave him some relief and all of us at least some sleep.

Unless you grow and rear all your own food and drinks we are all going to be exposed to preservatives.

RikersBeard Fri 21-Sep-12 15:42:43

I believe the reason some prescribed medicines still contain a lot of additives is due to regulation. The license would have been granted many years ago based on a formulation with colorants, flavours etc in it, in a time when people weren't so concerned about them. To now remove them, ie change the formulation, a new licence would need to be granted, which s expensive and time consuming. And as nobody is lobbying for it (and since it's prescribed it's hardly a free consumer market) why should they bother. Which is why I wish the regulator would do something.

Not sure what situation with OTC medication is, or needs to be bright pink, as long as it tastes ok.

mummysmellsofsick Sat 22-Sep-12 12:52:27

Rickers that does make sense re licensing. People definitely didn't seem to worry about additives as much as they do now, and as most people don't worry now about anything that's endorsed by their gp I guess there just isn't enough pressure to change it.

Zimbah Sun 23-Sep-12 21:41:34

I would be surprised if most children take enough calpol for the preservatives etc to have any chance of causing problems.

amillionyears Sun 23-Sep-12 21:43:57

Who knows?

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