Two studies re-emphasize risks of over-the-counter cold medicines in children

November 1, 2010

The US Food and Drug Administration recommended in 2007 that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines not be given to children younger than 2 years old, but a recent study shows that parents have not gotten that message.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended in 2007 that over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines not be given to children younger than 2 years old, but a recent study shows that parents have not gotten that message.

At the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) annual scientific assembly, investigators from Wilford Hall Medical Center in Lackland, Texas, presented the results of an emergency department survey of 148 parents of children aged 2 years and younger.

Only 36% of the respondents were aware of the FDA public health advisory regarding the use of OTC cough and cold medications in children. Further, only 30% indicated that they did not give cold and cough medicines to their children 2 years or younger, and 57% believed that these medicines were safe.