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Baby cough medicines pulled

Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency orders six baby cough medicines to be removed from sale for the under-twos

Posted: 27 March 2008
by Monica Stylli

Today the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency ordered six cough remedies be removed from sale for children under the age of two amid fears of accidental overdose.

The medicines in question are:

  • Asda Children's Chesty Cough Syrup
  • Calcough Chesty
  • Boots Chesty Cough Syrup - one year plus
  • Children's Chesty Cough
  • Boots sore throat and cough linctus one year plus
  • Buttercup infant cough syrup

These remedies will be removed from the shelves and will no longer be available from pharmacies. Parents are being urged to use paracetamol and ibuprofen, vapour rubs and cough syrups such as glycerol, honey or lemon.

There are 12 ingredients which are causing concern in particular – they are:

  • brompheniramine
  • chlorphenamine
  • diphenhydramine
  • dextromethorphan
  • pholcodine
  • guaifenesin
  • ipecacuanha
  • phenylephrine
  • pseudoephedrine
  • ephedrine
  • oxymetazoline
  • xylometazoline

The MHRA claims that there is no evidence to show that medicines containing these ingredients are beneficial to the under-under twos.

There are concerns in the US too, where it is feared that parents have been giving children too high a dose, or more than one product containing the highlighted ingredients.

There have been concerns in the US over such medicines after parents gave children too high a dose, or more than one product containing the same ingredients.

There are about 90 cough remedies currently on the market which are licensed for use in over-twos. These will also be removed from the shelves until the packaging has been redesigned to include information and advice on age restrictions. These will be kept behind pharmacy counters until such times.

If you have any concerns about these issues, or for further information visit

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