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New advice on children's over-the-counter cough and cold remedies

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The body that regulates sales of medicines in the UK has advised parents that many popular over-the-counter cough and cold remedies do not work on children under 12.

Some of the medicines can even cause non-dangerous side effects such as hallucinations or allergic reactions, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has warned.

The MHRA carried out a review of popular remedies such as Lemsip powders, Day Nurse and Sudafed, but found ‘no robust evidence that these medicines work’ in children. It has now decided that many such medicines can no longer be sold for use on children under six.

Parents are being advised for parents with children under this age to stick to simple remedies like keeping their child’s temperature down and simple honey and lemon mixtures to ease a cough. Pain relief preparations and remedies used to lower a child’s temperature, such as Calpol, are unaffected by the new rules.

However, the MHRA has identified a list of eight medicines that do work and are safe to use on children between the ages of one and six.

These include Beechams Veno’s Honey and Lemon, Benylin Tickly Coughs and CalCough TicklyCare Glycerin Lemon & Honey with Glucose.

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