Paediatric cough and cold medications are widely available in Malaysia, but the patterns of use among children are unknown.
The lack of these information leads to the underappreciated serious adverse events (maybe even death events) among the children due to cough and cold medications.
Cough and cold medications include those contains antitussive (dextromethorphan), decongestant (pseudoephedrine), expectorant (guaifenesin) and/or antihistamine (diphenhydramine) as active ingredients, be it alone, or in combination.
Some of them are sold as over-the-counter (OTC) products, and some are kept behind pharmacy counters.
In Malaysia, the safety concern on cough and cold medication is not widespread yet.
For your information:
Before consulting doctor, children less than 2-year-old should not be given any cough and cold medication.
In addition, there are no data supporting the efficacy of cough and cold medications in children.
So, children, are at risk of dosing errors in cough and cold medications. Because of the lack of clinical and pharmacological studies of children, most paediatric dosages are extrapolated from adult data.
One thing to keep in mind is: Children's body are physiologically slightly different from adults, as some of the organs are not fully developed yet, such as kidney and liver.
So, for the public:
Before you buy the cough and cold medications for your children, please consult pharmacist or doctors.