Over-the-counter cough and cold medications in children: Are they helpful?

Edward A. Bell, David E. Tunkel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Over-the-counter cough/cold medications are commonly used in children. Recent recommendations by the Food and Drug Administration and changes to product labeling by cough/cold product manufacturers have reduced use of these products in children younger than four years of age. Data from controlled clinical trials of cough/cold product ingredients do not support their efficacy in young children. Serious adverse effects have been reported from cough/cold product use in infants and children, which largely result from inappropriate use by caregivers. Conservative therapies, including nasal suctioning, humidification, and nasal saline, should be recommended over cough/cold product use for infants and children. Otolaryngologists should educate caregivers of children on the safe and effective use of these products and therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-650
Number of pages4
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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