The confusion over cough and cold medications continues and I must admit I am a little confused too. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association recently announced changes to the labeling of over-the-counter (OTC) cold products to state “do not use in children under 4 years of age”. The FDA monograph still states “do not use in children under 2 years”. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not using OTC cough and cold preparations in children under six years.
Looking at the little research on these products two things come to mind:
- There have been multiple studies done on these products (in adults) that do not show them to be efficacious for treating common cough and cold symptoms.
- The research among children using these products show that dosing errors and accidental ingestions are the leading cause of adverse events.
This kind of leaves me thinking why use them at all in children? I really have never been much of a cold medicine giver in general, as I personally did not see my patients getting better any faster nor my own children. We continued to use the good old grandmother tested remedies of lots of rest, fresh squeezed orange juice (sometimes in pays to be sick), chicken noodle soup (canned or home made), and a vaporizer or humidifier in their rooms at night. I also know that younger children get more colds than anyone and no matter what you do you have to get through that too. But miraculously, as kids get older they get less colds and seem to tolerate them a little better.
So… for this winter in our practice we are not recommending the use of any of these products for kids and trying the gold standards rest, fluids, cool mist humidifier and tincture of time. We’ll see how it goes.
That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat tomorrow.