WPP’S Statement Regarding Use of OTC Cough/Cold Medications

Despite the popularity of use for treatment of the common cold, over the counter cough and cold preparations containing antihistamine and decongestant have been shown NOT to be helpful, and in some cases, harmful to children, especially those less than 6 years of age. For this reason, these products are no longer available over the counter.

Uncomplicated upper respiratory infections have been shown to resolve equally well with symptomatic treatments such as saline nasal drops, humidified air and encouraging reasonable fluid intake.

Additionally, recent studies of the use of codeine for cough suppression indicate that there is no data to support its use as a cough suppressant in pediatric patients.

Therefore, WPP does NOT recommend the use of these medications for the treatment of common cold symptoms (in children less than 6 years of age) and there is little evidence of their effectiveness in older children.