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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2006 Nov;45(9):828-34.

The attitude of physicians toward cold remedies for upper respiratory infection in infants and children: a questionnaire survey.

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Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Over-the-counter cold remedies are widely used for symptomatic relief of upper respiratory tract infections. The safety of these drugs is not well established in infants and their efficacy is questionable. Our aim was to study the attitude of family physicians and pediatricians toward the use of cold remedies in infants and children. A questionnaire was sent to 400 family physicians and 100 pediatricians randomly selected across Ontario. The overall response rate was 53.2%. Sixteen percent of family physicians recommended cold remedies for infants 0 to 6 months of age compared to 4% of the pediatricians (P = 0.01). For infants 6 to 12 months of age, the difference between pediatricians and family physicians persisted (14% and 38% of, respectively; P < 0.001). Despite that cold remedies are not proven to be effective and some safety issues are associated with their use in the pediatric age group, physicians still recommend them. Continuing medical education programs should address the issue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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