The Drugs Don't Work

Fairly interesting story on Sky News this morning... Apparently, a lot of the Cough and Cold remedies out on the market aimed at kids - shockingly - don't do anything.

Now, to be fair, when I am poorly, I usually use Lemsip Hot Berry Fruits.  I don't know if they actually work or not, but they usually make my nose feel better.  Otherwise, my normal painkillers are better than most cold/flu remedies.

However, when the kids are poorly, they will get Calpol if they are lucky, just to bring down temperatures.  If there is a cough, I won't buy stupidly-priced cough mixtures aimed at kids, but a simple linctus just to make the throat feel better.

However, a government report has said that pretty much all "remedies" do nothing, but have added the line "but don't worry if you have given them" because they know that there are likely people out there now that are reading this thinking "OMG I've been poisoning my kid!"

Popular cough and cold medicines which have been used for years to treat children probably do not work, Government health experts have admitted.

Over-the-counter medicines 'were not specially designed for children'

There is "no robust evidence" that remedies such as Lemsip, Day Nurse and Sudafed have any benefit to youngsters.

They can also cause side effects like hallucinations, new evidence has found.

Parents will now be told not to waste their money on the medicines - but told not to worry if they have used them in the past.

The advice comes after a review by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

It added that the possible side effects - although not dangerous - could include sleep disturbance, allergic reactions and hallucinations.

Regulators have decided that many of the medicines can no longer be sold to children under six.

And clearer advice will be published on packets for children between six and 12, for whom the medicines appear to have no benefit.

Pharmacists will be issued with new advice to give to parents about which medicines can be used safely.

Pain relief preparations and remedies used to lower a child's temperature, such as Calpol, are unaffected by the new rules.

For children under six, the MHRA recommends that parents stick to simple remedies like keeping their child's temperature down.

Honey and lemon mixtures can be used to ease a cough, the experts said.

MHRA spokesman Jeremy Mead explained that children's physiology differs from adults so remedies that work on an older body cannot be assumed to have the same effect on youngsters.

The MHRA have identified a list of eight medicines that do work and are safe to use on children under six.

They include Beechams Veno's Honey and Lemon, Benylin Tickly Coughs and CalCough TicklyCare Glycerin Lemon & Honey with Glucose - although none should be given to babies under one year old.

The MHRA's Dr June Raine, said: "Over-the-counter medicines used to treat coughs and colds have been used for many years.

"However, they came into use when clinical trials were not required to demonstrate that they worked in children. This means they were not specially designed for children."
Recommended For Under 6s

For Pain And To Lower Temperature:
:: Calpol Infant Suspension.
:: Calprofen (3+ months).
:: Cuprofen Suspension for Children.
:: Disprol Paracetamol Suspension (from 3 months).
:: Disprol Soluble Paracetamol Tablets (from 3+ months).
:: Medinol Under 6 Under 6 Paracetamol Oral Suspension.
:: Nurofen for Children 3 months to 12 years.
:: Nurofen for Children Baby (From 3 months).

Simple Cough Mixtures:
:: Baby Meltus Cough Linctus.
:: Beechams Veno's Honey and Lemon (Not to be given under 1 year).
:: Benylin Children's Tickly Coughs (Not to be given under 3 months).
:: Benylin Tickly Coughs (Non drowsy) (Not to be given under one year).
:: CalCough TicklyCare Glycerin Lemon & Honey with Glucose (Not recommended under one year).
:: Lemsip Cough Dry
:: Tixylix Baby Syrup (Not recommended under 3 months).

I'm not sure why I've never really given the kids "proper" medicine, but I think it stems from Bethy.  Some cough and cold remedies could often make the heart kids poorly, so as a precaution, I never had them in the house... Just in case, after all.

Who knows, maybe it's a good thing, that parents will stop giving their kids so much medication if they have a sniffle or something.

Now all we need is the government to finally admit that ManFlu is a devestating disease... :D

Newer Post Older Post

2 Responses to “The Drugs Don't Work”

The HoJo's said...

Yes, Man flu is devastating, for the women who have to put up with the men with it ;o)


Hale McKay said...

Isn't it interesting that old time remedies that my grandparents used to dole out are making a comeback and are more effective than those produced by our money-hungry pharmaceutical conglomerates of today?