IMB advises on cough medicines for children
27 March 2008
The Irish Medicines Board (IMB) today states that cough and cold medicines for use in children under two have never been recommended in Ireland without appropriate advice from a doctor or pharmacist. It states that, whilst the UK had a range of cough and cold medicines available on open sale for under twos this is not the practice in Ireland.
Dr Joan Gilvarry, Director of Human Medicines, IMB is advising parents with children who have symptoms of a cough or cold and an associated temperature, to treat the child with the appropriate amount of paracetamol or ibuprofen. These products can improve the child’s symptoms and can be used in conjunction with cough syrups such as glycerol, honey or lemon as opposed to syrups containing active ingredients.
“Our advice for parents or child minders is to seek the advice of a pharmacist or doctor before giving any medication to a child under two years of age. Before any medicine is administered to a child, parents should read the patient information leaflet carefully and strictly administer the correct dosage as dictated. Special attention should be given to reading the label and ensuring that parents do not exceed the maximum dosage level and frequency,” says Dr Gilvarry.
The IMB states that most symptoms of a cough or cold should pass within a number of days and, whilst they may be uncomfortable for a child, they should improve with 2-3 days. If symptoms persist beyond this, medical advice should be sought.
The use of cough and cold medicines in older children is currently under review at a European level and IMB is participating in this review.
The IMB suggests that any parent or child minder who has concerns should contact their doctor or pharmacist.
Siobhan Molloy/Angie Grant Tel: (0) 67601 68 or 086 817 50 66