Now that the FDA tells us to avoid most over the counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines in children under age 4, what are we to do?
While I did not agree with these recommendations at first, I now like encouraging supportive care and milder treatments like nasal suction and nasal saline drops. Since most OTC cough and cold medicines had little evidence to support their benefit in young children, I am now happy to use them less often.
These Israeli investigators studied several types of honey in the treatment for nocturnal cough in children ages 1-5 years. Whether the benefit is due to real reduction in the cough drive, or to simply giving the parents something to do, I will consider this for the next child I see.
Maybe we have always used OTC cough and cold medicines in young children because they gave us and the parents something to do, not because they actually worked.