Kids & Cipro

Just a few months ago, very few people were aware that Cipro is the drug of choice in treating anthrax. Now, almost everyone knows it. We've told you how some people are so concerned they're taking the antibiotic even though they haven't been exposed to anthrax. Now some people are giving it to their kids, but is that a good idea? It's not safe for adults to take Cipro if they don't need to, it can be even more dangerous for kids to take it.

Rasmi Verma, a mother of two, says these days she definitely has some anxiety over anthrax. "It's really scary to think about. The minute they have a bad throat, you think what's going on?" Now there's news of a Connecticut boy being treated with the antibiotic amoxycillin. James Sabetta, the head of infectious diseases at Greenwich Hospital is treating the boy and says this drug is a better choice than cipro, commonly used for adults. "There's a reluctance to give Cipro to pregnant women and certainly young children because of concern about growth and toxicity to cartilage and bone." When it comes to children, Cipro has not been approved by the FDA because clinical trials have never been done with children. Dr. Harry Romnowitz at Stamford Hospital says, "Children unfortunately don't have access to all the pharmaceuticals that the adult world does. Cipro has not been approved by the FDA for use with children." Even though Cipro isn't approved for kids, the drug can be given to a child if needed. Dr. Romnowitz says, "In situations where it's felt to be the only drug and there's no good alternative, Cipro would be the drug of choice."

In the case of the Connecticut boy, the CDC has determined the strain of anthrax found in Florida can be treated effectively with amoxycillin, so there's no need to consider giving him Cipro. One parent says she's not overly worried about anthrax, and doesn't see the need to keep antibiotics at home. "I wouldn't stock up and at this point, I certainly wouldn't medicate my kids without consulting a doctor."