Therapeutic Options for Acute Cough Due to Upper Respiratory Infections in Children

Abstract

Cough due to upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) is one of the most frequent complaints encountered by pediatric health-care providers, and one of the most disruptive symptoms for children and families. Despite the frequency of URIs, there is limited evidence to support the few therapeutic agents currently available in the United States (US) to treat acute cough due to URI. Published, well-designed, contemporary research supporting the efficacy of narcotics (codeine, hydrocodone) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved over-the-counter (OTC) oral antitussives and expectorants (dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine, chlophedianol, and guaifenesin) is absent for URI-associated pediatric cough. Alternatively, honey and topically applied vapor rubs may be effective antitussives.

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Disclosure

Within the past 5 years Dr. Paul has served as a consultant for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, Procter and Gamble Company, Novartis Consumer Health, Reckitt Benckiser Healthcare International Ltd., and McNeil Consumer Health. Dr. Paul also has received research grant funding from Procter and Gamble Company.

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Correspondence to Ian M. Paul.

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Paul, I.M. Therapeutic Options for Acute Cough Due to Upper Respiratory Infections in Children. Lung 190, 41–44 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00408-011-9319-y

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Keywords

  • Cough
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Child
  • Dextromethorphan
  • Guaifenesin