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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2018 April;70(2):117-26

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.17.04752-1


language: English

Observational study on the dispensing of cough syrups to children with acute cough by community pharmacists in France

François-André ALLAERT 1, 2, Stéphanie VILLET 3 , Stéphane VINCENT 3, Laurent SAUVE 4

1 Ceren Esc, Dijon, France; 2 Department of Medical Information, CHU Dijon, France; 3 Boiron Laboratories, Messimy, France; 4 Pharmacie du Vallon, Sainte Foy-Lès-Lyon, France


BACKGROUND: Over-the-counter medicines may be proposed by pharmacists for children with acute cough. Study objectives were to describe the sociodemographic profile of children who were proposed a cough syrup by a pharmacist, the nature of the cough and type(s) of cough syrup proposed and to assess the evolution of the cough, tolerance and satisfaction with treatment.
METHODS: Observational, prospective, longitudinal, multicentre study with 157 pharmacies in France. Children who were proposed a cough syrup by a pharmacist were recruited. Questionnaires were completed by the pharmacists and/or parents at inclusion and by the parents after 5 days of treatment.
RESULTS: Four hundred fourteen children were included (mean age: 6.0±2.9 years); 45.9% had a dry and 43.3% a productive cough. 30.4% were proposed an allopathic antitussive syrup, 28.3% an allopathic expectorant syrup and 23.7% a homeopathic syrup. Children with a dry cough were more likely to be given an allopathic antitussive (55.2%) or homeopathic (28.2%) syrup. Children with a productive cough or cough of several days duration were more likely to be given an allopathic expectorant syrup (70.1%). Cough disappearance was more frequent with homeopathic syrups compared to allopathic expectorants (P=0.002), or allopathic antitussives (P=0.042). Adverse events were most common with allopathic antitussive syrups (18.7%) (P<0.001). Two-thirds of parents were satisfied with the treatment their child received.
CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacists play an important role in the management of acute cough in children. Homeopathic cough syrups may have an interest in terms of public health.

KEY WORDS: Child - Cough - Cough syrup - Homeopathy - Pharmacy - Personal satisfaction

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Publication History

Issue published online: February 2, 2018
Article first published online: February 17, 2017
Manuscript accepted: February 11, 2017
Manuscript revised: January 18, 2017
Manuscript received: July 22, 2016

Cite this article as

Allaert FA, Villet S, Vincent S, Sauve L. Observational study on the dispensing of cough syrups to children with acute cough by community pharmacists in France. Minerva Pediatr 2018;70:117-26. DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4946.17.04752-1

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