Navigation Links
Misuse of Vicks VapoRub may harm infants and toddlers
Date:1/12/2009

Vicks VapoRub, the popular salve used to relieve symptoms of cough and congestion, may be harmful for infants and toddlers. New research appearing in the January issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), shows that Vicks VapoRub (VVR) may stimulate mucus production and airway inflammation, which can have severe effects on breathing in an infant or toddler. Research findings are consistent with current VVR labeling which indicates the product should not be used on children under 2 years of age.

"The ingredients in Vicks can be irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway," said Bruce K. Rubin, MD, FCCP, the study's lead author from the Department of Pediatrics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC. "Infants and young children have airways that are much narrower than those of adults, so any increase in mucus or inflammation can narrow them more severely."

Dr. Rubin and his colleagues at Wake Forest became interested in the effects of VVR on small children after they cared for an 18-month-old girl who developed severe respiratory distress after VVR was put directly under her nose. The research team then launched an investigation to determine the effects of VVR on the respiratory system. Using ferrets, which have an airway anatomy and cellular composition similar to humans, the team conducted tests that measured the effects of VVR on mucus secretion and build up in the airways, and fluid build up in the lungs. Healthy ferrets and ferrets who had induced tracheal inflammation (simulating a person with a chest infection) underwent testing after they were exposed to VVR through intubation.

Results showed that in vitro VVR exposure increased mucus secretion 59 percent over baseline, while in vivo VVR exposure increased mucus secretion 14 percent in normal airways and 8 percent in the inflamed airway, in addition to the increase in secretion due to the inflammation. Mucus clearance, as measured by ciliary beat frequency in the trachea, also decreased by 36 percent during in vitro testing.

VVR is not indicated for patients under age 2. However, Dr. Rubin realizes that some parents are still choosing to use VVR to relieve their sick young child's symptoms, usually rubbing the salve on the feet or chest.

"I recommend never putting Vicks in, or under, the nose of anybodyadult or child. I also would follow the directions and never use it at all in children under age 2," said Dr. Rubin. Even when directions are followed, VVR may make people with congestion feel more comfortable, but it does nothing to increase airflow or actually relieve congestion. "Some of the ingredients in Vicks, notably the menthol, trick the brain into thinking that it is easier to breathe by triggering a cold sensation, which is processed as indicating more airflow. Vicks may make you feel better but it can't help you breathe better." Dr. Rubin also feels that although the study only tested Vick's VapoRub, similar products, including generic brands, could cause the same adverse reaction in infants and toddlers.

In addition to VVR, decongestants are not recommended for young children; however, there are other treatments that are safe and effective.

"Cough and cold medicines and decongestants are dangerous and neither effective nor safe for young children. Medications to dry up nasal passages also have problems," said Dr. Rubin. "The best treatments for congestion are a bit of saline (salt water) and gentle rubber bulb suction, warm drinks or chicken soup, and, often, just letting the passage of time heal the child." Dr. Rubin also notes that if a child is struggling to breathe, it is a medical emergency and would require the child to be seen by a doctor as quickly as possible.

"Parents should consult with a physician before administering any over-the-counter medicine to infants and young children," said James A. L. Mathers, Jr., MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. "Furthermore, the American College of Chest Physicians and several other health-care organizations have concluded that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines can be harmful for infants and young children and are, therefore, not recommended."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
jstawarz@chestnet.org
847-498-8306
American College of Chest Physicians
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Families, friends, schools and neighborhoods contribute to adolescent alcohol misuse
2. College Freshmen See Rx Drug Misuse More Risky Than Alcohol, Pot
3. MEDai Technology Identifies Prescription Drug Misuse
4. Abbott and Partnership for a Drug-Free America Launch Not In My House to Help Parents Secure Their Homes from Teen Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse
5. Pelosi: Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Will Protect Americans from Misuse of Genetic Information
6. Office-Based Medical Treatment and Internet Resources Are Potential Solution to Rising Painkiller Misuse Among Teens, Young Adults
7. Vitamin D Deficiency in Infants and Nursing Mothers Carries Long-Term Disease Risks
8. Study examines how breastfeeding impacts cost of care for very low birth weight infants
9. Death rates in hospital highest for infants, and children without insurance
10. Aggressive Therapy May Stem CF Progression in Infants
11. Intervention in infants with cystic fibrosis key to slowing progression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/20/2017)... Waco, TX (PRWEB) , ... July 19, 2017 , ... ... announce the availability of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment and dental implants in ... the TRIOS® intraoral scanner and the T-Scan™ by Tekscan®, they can capture details in ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 19, 2017 , ... ... Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant to train predoctoral dental students in ... needs in rural and underserved areas. , The Predoctoral Pediatric Training Project (PPTP), ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... 19, 2017 , ... A July 5th article on Reuters Health ... had received a body contouring procedure reported experiencing a better quality of life, compared ... which provides both types of procedures, notes that this report jibes with what they ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... , ... July 20, 2017 , ... “Fidget”: a fun-filled, ... a retired public high school music and drama teacher who was a summa cum ... career, including a “Teacher of the Year” award. After her retirement from public school, ...
(Date:7/18/2017)... ... July 18, 2017 , ... CannaKids, a California Cooperative Cooperation that specializes in ... at the WORLDZ Summit, taking place in Hollywood from July 31-August 1, the ... medical cannabis for both pediatric and adult patients, and how the path has led ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/11/2017)... 2017  The global market for liquid biopsy diagnostic ... million in 2016.  Although in early stages, the global ... particular as a result of the gradual shift towards ... introduction of a significant number of new liquid biopsy ... tumor biomarkers to guide treatment decisions. ...
(Date:7/11/2017)... -- Dr. Echenberg, founder of Echenberg Institute, is announcing a new safe and ... painful intercourse and other painful pelvic pain conditions such as pelvic floor ... ... ... -based start-up company, VuVatech LLC, fills a void in the women,s ...
(Date:7/10/2017)... CLEVELAND , July 10, 2017  US medical ... billion in 2021, according to Medical Equipment ... released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Continued increases in demand ... the aging of the population and supported by gains ... associated equipment and supplies. New product introductions will also ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: