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Study Shows Increased Use of Over the Counter Medications in Australian Children

by Madhumathi Palaniappan on September 8, 2016 at 3:31 PM
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Study Shows Increased Use of Over the Counter Medications in Australian Children

The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) researched that there is an increase in the number of parents who spend on over the counter (OTC) drugs for their children.

Inspite of the harmful warnings, millions of dollars are spent on cough and cold medications for children in Australia by their parents.


Dr. Anthea Rhodes, Pediatrician RCH, said that these drugs are found to do more harm than good. "They're designed to be symptomatic relief, aimed at targeting the cough and the runny nose for example, but we know on evidence that they are not effective in doing that"

"And in fact some of those symptoms, particularly (the) cough, is a way your body is trying to get better." she said.

The study finds that about one third of Australian kids were found to take cough and cold syrups without prescriptions.

Cough medicines are usually a combination of antitussives, decongestants and antihistamines. Warnings from Therapeutic Goods and Administration (TGA) restricts the use of cough and cold syrups on children below the age of 6.

This was also revealed in a recent survey conducted on more than 2000 parents by the RCH in Melbourne, Australia.

About $ 67 million dollars are being spent each year on cold and cough medicines for children and TGA has advised that cough and cold syrup medications should be used for children only when recommended by doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professionals.

The survey also found that about 92% of children received over the counter medicines in the past 12 months and 65% of people take more than one type of drug. It also showed that about one in seven parents use these medicines to make their child sleep during travel.

Dr. Anthea Rhodes concluded that investing money on these over the counter medications would be of waste for the families. Instead plenty of exercise, good sleep and proper diet would do good for a child to be healthy.

Source: Medindia

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