Codeine for acute cough in children

Canadian Family Physician, 12/15/2010

Cough is one of the most common symptoms presented by children, resulting in discomfort and substantial health care utilization. The use of over–the–counter cough and cold medication, especially in children between 2 and 5 years old, is very common. Owing to rising concerns about the safety of over–the–counter cough and cold medications in children, Health Canada and the Food and Drug Administration amended their positions about these products in 2008. Health Canada suggested that certain nonprescription cough and cold medications should not be labeled for use in children younger than 6 years of age. A Cochrane meta–analysis reviewed the safety of over–the–counter cough and cold medications in ambulatory patients with viral–induced cough. No evidence was found for or against the use of over–the–counter medications in either pediatric or adult populations when frequency and severity of cough, cough counts, sputum production, and physician assessments were compared.

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