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:
Giving the right amount
Storing medicines safely
Using cough and cold medicines
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.
|Consumer Healthcare Products Association: OTCsafety.org|
|900 19th Street NW|
|Washington, DC 20006|
This website has tips for safe use of over-the-counter medicines for children and adults. It has information about drug labels, ingredients, drug interactions, and more.
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.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Margaret Hetherington, PHM, BsC - Pharmacy|
|Last Revised||July 6, 2011|
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