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Drugs and Health Products

Tear Sheet - Cough and Cold Medicine for Children - MedEffect Canada

ISBN: 978-0-662-06338-4 (PDF Version)
Cat: H14-45/2008 (PDF Version)
HC Pub: 4746 (PDF Version)

Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines with certain active ingredients are being relabelled to say: "Do not give to children under 6."

List of ingredients to watch for:

Therapeutic Category (Purpose) Active Ingredients
Antihistamines in cough and cold medicines (used to treat sneezing, runny nose)
  • brompheniramine maleate
  • chlorpheniramine maleate
  • clemastine hydrogen fumerate
  • dexbrompheniramine maleate
  • diphenhydramine hydrochloride
  • diphenylpyraline hydrochloride
  • doxylamine succinate
  • pheniramine maleate
  • phenyltoloxamine citrate
  • promethazine hydrochloride
  • pyrilamine maleate
  • triprolidine hydrochloride
Antitussives (used to treat cough)
  • dextromethorphan
  • dextromethorphan hydrobromide
  • diphenhydramine hydrochloride
Expectorants (used to loosen mucus)
  • guaifenesin (glyceryl guaiacolate)
Decongestants (used to treat congestion)
  • ephedrine hydrochloride/sulphate
  • phenylephrine hydrochloride/sulphate
  • pseudoephedrine hydrochloride/sulphate

Relabelling will be completed by fall 2009. Until then, parents and caregivers should talk to a health practitioner (such as a pharmacist, nurse or doctor) when buying or using these products.

For more information, including non-medicinal ways to provide temporary relief for cough and cold symptoms,

  • call 1-866-558-2946 or