Navigation Links
Vicks VapoRub Linked to Infant Breathing Problems

Misuse may cause respiratory distress, researchers say; company says product is safe

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The popular cold remedy Vicks VapoRub may cause airway inflammation that can restrict breathing in infants and toddlers, a new study says.

Doctors at Wake Forest University started their study after treating an 18-month-old girl who had developed severe respiratory distress after the salve had been put directly under her nose to relieve cold symptoms.

"The company is really clear that you don't put it in the nose, and you never use it in kids under 2," said lead researcher Dr. Bruce K. Rubin, professor and vice chair for research at Wake Forest's Department of Pediatrics. "Sure enough, when we stopped all the medicine, the child got much better very quickly."

Rubin's experience prompted him to see if there had been other similar cases. "We encountered a few others that appeared to develop problems after using Vicks VapoRub. Parents never volunteered it, because they always thought it is just something you buy over-the-counter, and it's not a real medicine, because you just rub it on, after all," he said.

Rubin said Vicks VapoRub can make some adults feel better without really making them better. "For kids, because it can induce some inflammation, even a little bit, that little bit might be enough to tip over a child to having problems," he said.

The findings were published in the January issue of the journal Chest.

To test whether Vicks VapoRub could cause respiratory distress, the researchers conducted experiments with ferrets. The animals were chosen because they have airways similar to human airways, Rubin said.

The researchers found that Vicks VapoRub increased mucus production by up to 59 percent; the ability to clear mucus was reduced by 36 percent.

David Bernens, a spokesman for Proctor & Gamble, the makers of Vicks VapoRub, doesn't think one incident involving one child means that the product is unsafe.

"The product is safe and effective when used as directed," he said. "To say it was the Vicks VapoRub that caused the respiratory distress -- I'm not sure we have made that link yet."

Dr. James A. L. Mathers Jr., president of the American College of Chest Physicians, said in an association news release: "Parents should consult with a physician before administering any over-the-counter medicine to infants and young children. 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."

In October, major manufacturers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should not be used by children younger than 4 years old.

Dr. Daniel Craven, a pediatric pulmonologist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital in Cleveland, said parents shouldn't use Vicks VapoRub, because it has no medicinal value and may even be dangerous.

"Previous research has failed to demonstrate any respiratory benefits of VapoRub, and conscientious pediatricians have thus usually tried to dissuade families from spending money on this and similarly ineffective therapies," Craven said. "Although the findings are someone limited, this study raises the possibility that this product may not just be ineffective, but possibly might have adverse respiratory consequences -- particularly if there is an intense exposure -- as when it is applied directly under the nostrils."

More information

For more on children and colds, visit the American Academy of Family Physicians.

SOURCES: Bruce K. Rubin, M.D., professor, vice chair, research, department of pediatrics, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Daniel Craven, M.D., pediatric pulmonologist, University Hospitals Case Medical Center's Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Cleveland; David Bernens, spokesman, Proctor & Gamble, Cincinnati; January 2009 Chest

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Misuse of Vicks VapoRub may harm infants and toddlers
2. Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
3. Treadmill Desks Combat Obesity Linked to Higher Rates of Ovarian Cancer
4. 9 Genes Are Linked to Alzheimers
5. More Screen Time Linked to Poor Fitness in Girls
6. Obesity Linked to Ovarian Cancer
7. Rejection of Gay Teens Linked to Later Troubles
8. Family rejection of LGB children linked to poor health in early childhood
9. Treating gum disease linked to lower medical costs for patients with diabetes
10. SNPs of ABC transporter genes linked to lung cancer risk
11. Panic attacks linked to higher risk of heart attacks and heart disease, especially in younger people
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media with growing ... said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Color brings ... users can now reveal the media of their split screens with growing colorful panels. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... KS (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... retailers of Eyeglasses . , Millions of individuals in the United States and ... have become a way to both correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... , ... PawPaws brand pet supplements owned by Whole Health Supply ... health of felines. The formula is all-natural and is made from Chinese herbs that ... Cat Kidney Support Supplement Soft Chews are Astragalus Root Extract and Rehmannia Root ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong ... Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. ... to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016   Pulmatrix, Inc ., (NASDAQ: ... drugs, announced today that it was added to the ... its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes ... important milestone for Pulmatrix," said Chief Executive Officer ... our progress in developing drugs for crucial unmet medical ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a leading ... and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today announced ... Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, followed ... other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will accelerate ... the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® technology. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... for the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function ... the patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep ... in balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: