No antihistamine support for kids with chronic cough

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 5, 2008

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Youngsters who have been coughing for a month or more are unlikely to find relief if they take antihistamines, according to a review published in the April Cochrane Library.

Researchers with the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia, searched the scientific literature finding three effectiveness and two safety studies. No difference was noted between the impact of antihistamines or placebos. With regard to safety, research favored the placebo, although this was not statistically significant.

In light of this along with recent concerns about the misuse of over-the-counter cough and cold medications by children, the authors are calling for these drugs not to be used in this age group.

"In contrast to recommendations in adults with chronic cough, antihistamines cannot be recommended as empirical therapy for children with chronic cough," wrote the authors.

Experts said, however, that not all antihistamines were the same, and that newer ones could be good choices for children with cough associated with allergies.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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