Friday, August 10, 2012

How Safe is Fletcher's Castoria?

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Perhaps, you are also well-familiarized with Fletcher's Castoria, Castor Oil or Senna. In my case, I didn't hear about this until my son was born. For a woman who hasn't experienced  babysitting before, I can just fairly forgive myself on this one. Most moms especially from town use Castoria to deal with abdominal distention of babies even newborns.

I suddenly remember this drug tonight when my cousin asked me what to do about her baby who has loose watery stool now and was advised by her  neighbor, "an experienced mom", to give her baby Castoria.

My first encounter with Castoria was two weeks after Kristoff's birth when he developed diarrhea and fever. At that time,  Mark was still on-board and I was short so we went to a general physician who asks only for a cheap clinic fee. I wish I didn't make the lack of money as an excuse not to bring my son to a pediatrician. Anyhow, she recommended Castoria and I was also keen to read the details on the label. It's indicated for constipation and if I give it to my son who had already an irritable bowel, then it would really aggravate his condition.

You know the feeling that you know that you know what's right, but you are just too helpless to stand for it. I know I shouldn't give it, but other experienced moms including my mom believed that it ought to be given because "they have already used and tested this on their babies before". I felt so hopelessly helpless to assert my own.

Maybe this is one of the most common dilemmas of young and newbie mommies especially when their partners are not beside them.

After a week, when Kristoff's condition got more serious, I was then empowered to set aside my helplessness and asserted my way to have financial support and brought him to The Doctor's Hospital  - Bacolod where he was seen by pediatricians and diagnosed to have Lactose Intolerance, the cause of his diarrhea.

Dr. Pandan, his attending physician and the head of the department of pediatrics in TDHI, clarified that it's dangerous to give Castoria to babies. And I would like to add, that Castoria is not a cure for abdominal distention, rather for constipation. That's what always been the mistake of most.

The best thing to do before giving any medication, especially for the first time and you are unsure of it, is to consult a pediatrician.

For more information about Fletcher's Castoria, please visit

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