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:12/9/2016)... Northern Kentucky - Cincinnati, Ohio (PRWEB) , ... ... ... leader in the production of miniature, folded, pharmaceutical inserts and outserts. As ... & Serialization Device. This addition will enable Flottman to individually code professional ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... , ... December 09, 2016 , ... ... celebrated its 10th anniversary with the grand opening of the Sober College Robert ... event spanned two days, December 2-3, and was attended by an overwhelming amount ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... December 09, 2016 , ... The Holy Name Medical Center ... NY, on December 3rd, to benefit Holy Name Medical Center's programs and services. ... raised over $1 million - the largest event in the Center's history, both ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... ... 09, 2016 , ... The Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers’ Society (PATS) ... summer of 2016. The program was made possible by a Pennsylvania Department of ... Health and Human Services Administration. The broadcast, Use Your Head: Properly Managing ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... 2016 , ... After enjoying record-breaking attendance at its last ... 33rd Annual Issues & Research Conference, March 2-3, 2017, at the Westin ... is “Persistent Challenges and New Opportunities: Using Research to Accelerate the Dialogue." 2016 ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... report to their offering. ... The report also analyses the market by the following Technology Types: Label-Free ... the US, Canada , Japan , ... Latin America , and Rest of World. Annual ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... aTyr Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: LIFE ), a biotherapeutics company ... severe, rare diseases, today announced that senior management will participate in ... Conference at the InterContinental Barclay Hotel in New York ... ET. About aTyr Pharma ... aTyr Pharma is engaged in the ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... , Dec. 9, 2016  Forge Therapeutics, Inc. ... (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) to ... for the treatment of bacterial infections including those ... recognized as an attractive antibacterial target for more ... of suitable chemical starting points has hampered its ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: