Purpose. To review research supporting the Food and Drug Administration's recommendation to relabel over-the-counter cough and cold medications (OTC CCMs), warning against use in young children.
Conclusions. Research has shown that the majority of OTC CCMs and antihistamines have little to no effect when used to treat the common cold and have a risky safety profile. Despite these findings, parents continue to use OTC CCMs for treatment of their children's colds.
Practice Implications. Educating parents on the lack of scientific evidence supporting the use of OTC CCMs and the potential for harm is important in altering parental perception and decreasing the purchase of OTC CCMs.