Main Category: Pediatrics / Children’s Health
Also Included In: Flu / Cold / SARS
Article Date: 22 Oct 2012 – 11:00 PDT
Antibiotics Are Ineffective For Treating Common Cold Cough In Kids
Antibiotics are not successful in treating cough due to the common cold in children, according to findings presented at CHEST 2012, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Researchers found that when kids suffering from acute cough were treated with either anti-tussive medication or antibiotics, using only antibiotics presented a lower percentage of cough resolution.
Lead study author Francesco de Blasio, MD, FCCP, Clinic Center Private Hospital, Naples, Italy said:
“In our experience, antibiotics are often prescribed by the general practitioner to treat cough in children, many times to pacify parents. However, antibiotics show very tiny effectiveness at treating cough due to your average head cold.”
To study the way antibiotics are used in a clinical pediatric setting, Dr. Blasio and his colleagues from the University of Bologna and Dompe SPA in Italy analyzed the treatment and outcomes of 305 kids who needed a medical consultation due to acute cough from the common cold.
Of the children, 89 took only antibiotics, 38 had a combination of anti-tussives and antibiotics; 16 took central (codeine and cloperastine), and 22 received peripheral (levodropropizine). Forty-four kids received only central, 79 kids received only peripheral anti-tussives; both of these groups did not take any antibiotics. Fifty-five kids received no medication.
The findings showed no significant difference in percentage of cough resolution between kids treated with anti-tussives alone than kids who received a combination of anti-tussives and antibiotics. In contrast, kids who received only antibiotics had a lower percentage of cough resolution than those treated with only anti-tussives.
Also seen was the use of the peripheral anti-tussive levodropropizine showing a meaningful beneficial effect in terms of cough resolution, compared with primary acting anti-tussive drugs.
The authors believe that few drugs act as cough suppressants, including antibiotics. In fact, they are no more effective than no medication at all. Peripheral anti-tussives, like levodropropizine, seem to be the ideal way to relieve the symptoms of cough.
The investigators’ results confirmed the American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of cough. These guidelines suggest the use of peripheral anti-tussives for specific types of cough. Although antibiotics are not effective for cough treatment, they can be helpful in treating hidden infections that could lead to a cough.
Dr. Blasio stresses that antibiotics should not be overused. Antibiotic use when there is no infection present can be harmful. The common cold is caused by viruses, not bacteria, which is what antibiotics are used to treat. Repeated antibiotic use can cause adverse allergic reactions and resistance to those medications.
Previous research has told us that parents often make pressure for antibiotic prescription for their sick children.
ACCP President-Elect Darcy D. Marciniuk, MD, FCCP, said:
“As parents, it is difficult to watch our kids suffering from a terrible cough, but turning to antibiotics is not always the answer. Depending on the underlying cause of the cough, a healthcare professional can recommend the ideal treatment options for a child, which, in some cases, may be no treatment.”
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Submited at Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 at 12:15 am on Uncategorized by Alina
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