Kids' cough medicines don't work, warns drugs watchdog

Original source: Parents have been warned that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines do not work on children under 12 and can even cause side effects such as hallucinations.

A review of popular remedies such as Lemsip powder, Day Nurse and Sudafed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) found 'no robust evidence that these medicines work' in children.

In new advice issued on Monday, the MHRA added that the possible side effects, although not dangerous, could include sleep disturbance, allergic reactions and hallucinations.

In the face of the lack of evidence that the medicines do any good, they have decided that many can no longer be sold for use on children under six.

But the MHRA said that parents should not worry if they have used the medicines in the past and shop shelves will not be cleared of current stocks.

Spokesman Jeremy Mean explained that children's physiology differs from adults so that remedies proved to work on an older body cannot be assumed to have the same effect on youngsters.

He said that all children's medicines were being reviewed due to a 'change in thinking.'