No more OTC meds to treat colds in children younger than 6 years old?

“The data that we have now is they don’t seem to work,” said Dr. Sean Hennessy, a University of Pennsylvania epidemiologist and one of the experts who testified to the FDA today.

But what about CAM as an alternative?

Drs. Roxane Carr and Milap Nahata from the College of Pharmacy at Ohio State University in Columbus reviewed CAM options for upper respiratory tract infections in children.

Here are the highlights.

  • Echinacea (Echinacea purpura): Conflicting data regarding its efficacy and safety to treat upper respiratory infections (URTI) in children.
  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) alone or homeopathy: Not proven effective.
  • Zinc lozenges: Might not be effective and might cause adverse effects in children and adolescents.
  • Stress-management psychotherapy: Might decrease symptom duration and play a role in managing recurrent URTI in children.
  • Osteopathic manipulation: As an adjunct to antibiotic therapy, one study reports it might decrease the frequency recurrent acute otitis media in children less than 6 years of age.

An earlier review by Dr. Kathi Kemper from Childrens Hospital in Boston acknowledged the widespread use of CAM in children, but again supporting data from well-designed and implemented clinical studies are lacking.

10/19/07 19:25 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.