Over-the-Counter Meds and the Flu

By Irma Murillo
NewsChannel 10

Amarillo, TX--People under 18 years of age should never consume aspirin.

The CDC says this over-the-counter drug has been linked to a rare, but serious disease in children, Reye's Syndrome. And other non-prescription cold and cough medicines could be harmful for kids two years old and younger.

A local pediatrician says children with health conditions, such as asthma, are also at risk.

"We recommend nasal saline and suction. We recommend a cool mist humidifier and we recommend elevating the head so that the drainage can drain," said Dr. Mariada George, pediatrician at Panhandle Pediatrics in Amarillo.

Healthy children, between the ages of 2 and 4, should only take over-the-counter medicines if your doctor clears it. Doctor George recommends ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for the fever and some decongestants for children 5 years and older.

"Mucinex, Sudafed, Dimatap, Robitussin any of those can be good," she listed. "All of them work differently, so it's what's best for you."

George prescribes Tamiflu to children who cannot take over the counter meds. She reminds that rest and plenty of liquids are key ingredients in the fight against the flu. And always consult with your doctor before trying any over the counter drug.

For more on these guidelines visit www.flu.gov.