Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a doctor's prescription. This doesn't mean that OTC medicines are harmless. Like prescription medicines, OTCs can be very dangerous for children if not taken the right way.
Be sure to read the package instructions on these medicines carefully. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before giving OTC medicines to young children.
Here are some safety tips for parents and other caregivers:
Studies show that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines don't work very well. Some of these medicines can cause problems if used too much. These medicines don't cure the cold or cough. And they don't help your child get better faster.
Use these medicines exactly as your doctor says, and keep them out of children's reach.
Other Works Consulted
Sullivan JE, et al. (2011). Clinical report: Fever and antipyretic use in children. Pediatrics, 127(3): 580–587. Also available online: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/127/3/580.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - PediatricsMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
Current as ofMarch 28, 2018
Current as of: March 28, 2018
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.