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Can I give my child smaller doses of adult cough and cold medicine?

Smartliving Guest asked this
June 9, 2011 at 3:13 PM



What a terrific question and although it seems logical to be able to do so, I would not. I am not a doctor, perhaps one of them will be able to confirm for me, though from what I understand adult drugs can have side effects in children that can make the illness worse.

The primary example I found of this is when using medications that are targeting the digestive system, such as anti-diarrheal medications like Pepto Bismol that contain salicylate (leading to Reye's Syndrome) and loperamide (that may prolong the sickness by slowing down the digestive tract and keeping the bug in your child's system longer).

I recommend talking to your pediatrician before offering your child any form of medication - especially adult forms.

In health and happiness!


Jessica Corwin MPH RDN Health Coach answered
November 25, 2011 at 9:34 AM

I agree, Jessica. When it comes to the cough and cold medications, symptomatic treatment for children is discouraged. They simply posed more of a problem/risk than a remedy. The Food and Drug Administration recommended against their use for children and they have been for the most part removed from the shelves of pharmacies. For cough, Hellolife has a nice product that I recommend for children (over the age of 1) with cough. It is called Honey Don't Cough, all natural buckwheat honey, which was shown in a well-done study to be quite effective for cough.

Jeffrey VanWingen M.D. Health Coach answered
December 4, 2011 at 11:17 PM
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