Do you really have to have a prescription to get cough syrup for young children?

Ashley - posted on 02/26/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )




My son is 22 months as of tomorrow. He is was 33 1/2" at his last doctors appointment, and weighs around 35 pounds. Right now he's sick, really runny nose, and a horrible cough. His coughs are so hard and long his face gets so red and his eyes water. I called his doctor and she doesn't have any appointments open for at least 2 weeks. So I went to the store to get him some cough medicine, and could only find medicine for older kids. One of the cashiers said they took all infant cough and cold medicine off the shelf and you had to have a script for it. Is this true? Why? Can I still give him the medicine for older kids just half the dose or less? If not do any of you have home remedies for coughs?


Jackie - posted on 02/28/2011




Yes...there are reasons why they dont' sell cough syrup for little kids and any good pediatrician will tell you as long as their lungs sound fine and they don't have an infection needing antibiotics you ride out the cough and do cool mist vaporizors (and take your kid in the shower with you helps too).

And in general you should NEVER EVER try to change the dosing on a medication to adjust for age. That's not how it works...they are completely different concentrations.


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Ashley - posted on 03/02/2011




Thank you all! The honey really helped I mixed it with some warm tea, and I got a humidifier. He still has a small cough but he is doing good. Hope he doesn't get anything like this for a loooong time.

Dora - posted on 03/01/2011




You don't need to give him cough medicine. Try a cold mist humidifier. If his cough is that bad then sit in the bathroom with him, put the shower on super hot and let the bathroom fill with steam. Sit in there for just a few minutes. Also the vicks plug in works great.

Kendra - posted on 02/28/2011




Vicks Vapor rub is FANTASTIC for coughs! Put it on his feet, chest, and behind his ears.

[deleted account]

Do NOT give your child cough syrup! It is VERY DANGEROUS! their bodies do not process things the same as older children and this is why you need an Rx - trust me - the medical community is right on this one. HEre are a few links as to WHY you do NOT want to give your child cough syrup:

Instead - try a VERY effective natural remedy that is PERFECTLY safe for your 22 month old - HONEY! (WARNING NEVER EVER GIVE HONEY TO A BABY LESS THAN ! YEAR!) but your son is more than old enough!

here is some links to some other great - natural- and most importantly SAFE - remedies

Meagan - posted on 02/27/2011




Last time my daughter was sick I found a cough syrup. It's Zarbee's All Natural COugh Syrup and it's for kids 12+. I'm pretty sure it uses natural ingredients to soothe a cough, instead of medicine. Works wonders! (I live in AZ, so I'm not sure if it's only here.) I found it at Walgreens.

With that being said, if you can afford it, take him to an urgent care. They are usually cheaper than the hospital (with insurance co's) and take A LOT less time! lol (Although I spent 2 hours at one today... Still less than the hospital!!) They also have pediatric urgent cares, that are made for kids.

But, if you don't think it's bad enough for a Dr, try to find Zorbee's. Maybe they have a website that'll tell you where you can find it!

Jennifer - posted on 02/27/2011




If your son is coughing that bad, and the doc can't get him in, it might be time for an ER or stat care visit. That being said, if you don't think it is too bad, cough syrup is bad for young kids. It dries out the passages making things much worse. The best thing I have found for a cough is 1 run the cool mist humidifier and 2 rub vicks on the bottom of his feet and cover with heavy (or 2 pair) of socks. It really works wonders on a cough.

Amber - posted on 02/27/2011




I have had this same gripe about younger kids not getting any relief. I have two kids with Asthma, and the inability to treat a cold is terrible. I will tell you what I do, but I am not a doctor. I take a spoon, put saline in it, add a few drops of Afrin. Not Neosenephrin, but Afrin because it is safe for children. Then I suck it up into a medicine dropper an drip it in their nostrils. I tell you, it dries them up so fast, allowing them to breathe and get a good nights rest. Other things like cough syrup can depress the respiration and that is bad. Good luck.

Louise - posted on 02/27/2011




In England you can get a linctus for children under 6 that is for children from 1. It just relaxes the throat giving them time to catch their breath. You could make this linctus at home if you can not get any over the counter (mind you the shop stuff is better) It's honey lemon and boiled water. Stir and allow to cool. When coughing fit starts let them sip it, it lines the throat and stops the cough.(if you have not given honey to your child before then watch out for a reaction)

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