Recommendations for the Use of OTC Cough and Cold Medications in Children

Ann McMahon Wicker, PharmD, BCPS; Brice A. Labruzzo, PharmD


US Pharmacist. 2009;34(3):33-36. 

In This Article


Parents usually turn to nonprescription medications for treatment of the common cold in children. Medications used may include antihistamines, decongestants, expectorants, antitussives, or a combination. Although current packaging for these products states, "Do not use in children under 4 years of age," accurate dosing knowledge is extremely important, since primary health care providers may still recommend that parents use these agents in children under the age of 4. When used as directed, nonprescription cough and cold products can be safe for the pediatric population, and a pharmacist's counseling is integral to ensuring that they are being used safely and at appropriate doses.[1]