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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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