24 December 2005

Robitussin works best

This from my bosom-buddy Alisa: after much trial-and-error (and much $ spent at Walgreen's), she has determined that, of all the pediatric cough medicines, Robitussin works best. We concur, although we also swear by the hot salt water gargle.

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Disagree. Our Just-Turned-5 ("just like my hand") daughter is mildly asthmatic--it's a non-issue when she's healthy, and a big one when she's got a cold, which inevitably turns into a long, lingering cough. We've kissed the bottle that her Singulair comes in, and swear by Delsym for suppressing coughs. Much better than Robitussin for getting through the night...

It is absolutely impossible to make a pronouncement like that. I'm sorry about the long post, and the strong wording, but you have to be very precise with drugs.

First of all, Robitussin has at least 4 different combinations (different bottles) of drugs.
Secondly, and most importantly, you always, always have to look at the active ingredient. Not the brand name. In this case, the Robitussin that comes closest to the description is either the Infant Cough DM, or the Pediatric Cough Long-acting. Delsym has only one active ingredient in each bottle.
The Delsym contains "dextromethorphan polistirex equivalent to 30 mg dextromethorphan HBr" (per 5 ml).
The Infant Robitussin contains "Dextromethorphan HBr, 20 mg AND Guaifenesin, 200 mg" (also per 5 ml) and the Pediatric one "Dextromethorphan HBr, 7.5 mg" (also per 5 ml).

So, depending on what you use, and how much of it, the effects are highly variable.
I can't stress enough how important it is to actually know the real drug you're giving your kids (and yourself).

Reading active ingredients is a good idea. Often the store brand contains the same active ingredient, and would be pharmacologically identical to the name brand for less money.

These days a lot of OTC products contain multiple active ingredients. A lot of medications contain acetaminophen, and you wouldn't necessarily know it if you didn't read the label. A proper dose of acetaminophen is very safe; too much acetaminophen can be fatal.

Delsym is a miracle drug.It calms coughs quickly! Its very expensive though.

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