Some doctors and health officials have questioned the safety of these medicines for children, especially toddlers. Some feel that the benefits of the medicines do not outweigh the risks that the children can incur. A group of doctors have filed a petition voicing their concerns that these cold and cough medicines are not safe and ineffective for children.
The makers of these medicines claim that their products are safe if used correctly and all the directions are followed.
Some reports of serious adverse events associated with the use of these products appear to be the result of giving too much of these medicines to children. An over-the-counter cough and cold medicine can be harmful if more than the recommended amount is used, if it is given too often, or if more than one cough and cold medicine containing the same active ingredient are being used.
The FDA announced in March that they would be reviewing the efficacy and safety of cold and cough medicines and the meeting is set for October 18 and 19. The agency urged parents to read all the instructions on the labels before giving a child a dose of cold or cough medicine.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Drugs, Medical Devices, and Implants.