Navigation Links
Popular cold and cough treatment may create respiratory distress in young children
Date:1/12/2009

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. New research out of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center suggests that Vicks® VapoRub®, the popular menthol compound used to relieve symptoms of cough and congestion, may instead create respiratory distress in infants and small children.

The study appears in this month's issue of Chest, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, and reports that the product may stimulate mucus production and airway inflammation, which can have severe effects on breathing infants or young children because of the small size of their airways.

"The ingredients in Vicks can be irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway," said Bruce K. Rubin, M.D., lead author of the study and a professor in the department of pediatrics at Brenner Children's Hospital, part of Wake Forest Baptist. "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."

Vicks® VapoRub® was first compounded in 1891, in Greensboro. It was introduced in 1905 with the name Vick's Magic Croup Salve. The flu epidemic of 1918 increased sales from $900,000 to $2.9 million in just one year and Procter & Gamble has since marketed the product as "The only thing more powerful than a mother's touch."

The salve is widely used to relieve symptoms of colds and congestion, but there are few data supporting an actual clinical benefit, according to Rubin. Vicks has been reported to cause inflammation in the eyes, mental status changes, lung inflammation, liver damage, constriction of airways and allergic reactions.

Interest in conducting the study developed after Rubin and colleagues treated an infant who was taken to the emergency room after developing severe respiratory distress following the application of Vicks directly under her nose. Researchers sought to determine the effect of the product on the respiratory system using ferrets, which have an airway anatomy and cellular composition similar to humans. The team conducted tests on healthy ferrets and ferrets that had tracheal inflammation (simulating a person with a chest infection) that measured the effects of Vicks on mucus secretion and buildup in the airways, and fluid buildup in the lungs.

Results showed that Vicks exposure increased mucus secretion in both normal and inflamed airways. In addition, the studies showed that exposure to the product decreased the rate by which mucus was cleared from the trachea.

The findings support current product labeling, which indicates the product should not be used on children under 2 years of age. However, many parents continue to use Vicks on their sick children, often rubbing the salve on the feet or chest, Rubin said.

"I recommend never putting Vicks in, or under, the nose of anybodyadult or child," Rubin said. "I also would follow the directions and never use it at all on children under age 2."

Even when directions are followed, Vicks will make people with congestion more comfortable, but it does nothing to increase airflow or actually relieve congestion, Rubin added.

"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," he said. "Vicks may make you feel better but it can't help you breathe better."

In addition to Vicks® VapoRub®, decongestants are not recommended for young children.

"Mucus is one of the most effective ways that our body protects our air passages like the nose and bronchial tubes," Rubin said. "However, lots of mucus and inflammation can cause congestion, especially in little noses. 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," Rubin said. "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.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wfubmc.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. HSA Plans Gain Popularity as Premium Costs Rise
2. Study Rates Heart Health of Popular Diet Plans
3. Banco Popular Commits To Make A Difference Day 2007
4. Giant Eagle Expands Popular Generic Prescription Program and Now Offers 400 for $4
5. One-Third of Popular Songs Refer to Substance Abuse
6. Will Lipodissolve Continue to Remain Popular?
7. Climate change, gender differences, health among EurekAlert! 10 Most Popular Stories in 2007
8. Popular osteoporosis drugs triple risk of bone necrosis
9. Jan Marini Skin Research Suspends Sales of Popular Eyelash Products
10. Popular arthritis drug may disrupt heart rhythm, UB research finds
11. PetFirst: Pet Insurance To Be More Popular in 2008
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... of a growth round of funding led by Eastside Partners, with participation from ... company’s rapidly growing customer base and accelerate its technology and product roadmap. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... print media enterprise focused entirely on patients with cancer, today announced that Lynne ... chosen as the 2016 CURE® Extraordinary Healer® for Oncology Nursing , which ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... to promote their animal line of probiotics, Petbiotics ™, as they fondly ... turnout of animal rescue groups networking for their non-profit organizations. Animal rescues across ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... Coalition Duchenne, a Newport Beach, California ... Duchenne research, participated in the April 25 U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory ... The meeting at the Marriott Conference Center in Hyattsville, Maryland was attended by ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... data for 2014. Each year, reproductive endocrinologists are required to report in ... main organization of professionals dedicated to the practice of assisted reproductive technologies in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... April 28, 2016 Treato ... on healthcare, announced today that it has been named ... Cool Vendor in Life Sciences, 2016, Stephen ...  The report focuses on life-science- oriented analytics, algorithms and ... patients and doctors, confirm medication ingestion, and analyze unstructured ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Oramed Pharmaceuticals ... clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of oral drug ... the upcoming PIONEERS 2016 conference, presented by Joseph Gunnar ... in New York . Nadav Kidron ... the conference. Presentation Details:   ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... Florida , April 28, 2016 ... the development of innovative peptide and gene-based immunotherapeutics and vaccines ... it will be presenting at the 3rd Annual Growth ... - 5 th , 2016 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, ... 8.00 am on Wednesday, May 4 th by Dr. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: