Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist June 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist June 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
1. Which ONE of the following
statements BEST describes the
combined use of guaifenesin
and dextromethorphan? This
a) First-line therapy for cough associated
with the common cold.
b) Not as effective as concomitant use of
guaifenesin and codeine.
c) Generally is considered to be irrational.
d) Appropriate for treatment of a
2. Which of the following antitussives
is recommended for use in children
aged 2–6 years?
d) None of the above.
3. Regarding treatment for cold
symptoms, which ONE of the
following statements is CORRECT?
a) Echinacea is effective in reducing symptom
duration and severity in children.
b) It is preferable to recommend a single
ingredient cough and cold preparation
rather than a combination product.
c) Although cold preparations are not
recommended for children under 6
years, there is conclusive evidence
supporting the efficacy of these
preparations in adults.
d) Antibiotic treatment of URTI is effective
in preventing further complications
from the condition.
4. A patient presents with an acute,
non-productive cough. The first
treatment option that is MOST likely
to be offered is:
a) Attempt to identify any underlying
cause of the cough and treat or refer
patient if necessary.
b) Reassure the patient and suggest
supportive treatments such as rest,
hydration and pain relief as appropriate.
c) Refer the patient to a doctor for further
d) Recommend the patient an opioid
cough suppressant preparation.
5. Mr Jones comes to the pharmacy and
tells you that he has ‘the flu’. Which of
the following statements are MOST
consistent with influenza infection?
a) Symptoms develop gradually over a
week and can last for several weeks.
b) Influenza is more commonly seen when
the weather is colder.
c) Influenza symptoms are often the same
as those of a common cold but less
d) a) and b).
Supportive therapies are the main
treatment options for children under
six years with a cough or cold due to an
These therapies include7,15,23
simple non‐pharmacological cough
mixtures (e.g. paediatric simple linctus
or those containing glycerol or honey
one to two teaspoons of honey taken 30
minutes prior to bedtime may be helpful
for children over 12 months of age
steam and vapour in a closed room or
shower, may be effective in the relief
of nasal congestion, but care must be
taken to avoid burns
menthol‐based rubs placed on
the child’s clothing may ease
maintain hydration as a fever can lead
to mild dehydration due to sweating,
causing tiredness and headache
saline nasal sprays or drops (e.g. Fess,
Narium) to help thin nasal secretions,
which may be helpful for young
children and babies especially just
rest and stay home from childcare or
school and avoid exposure to cigarette
• paracetamol or ibuprofen for pain
relief in children caused by sore
throat, muscle pain or high fever (a
temperature higher than 38.5 °C).
Some cough and cold preparations
recommended for children contain
complementary therapies. Common
agents include echinacea, vitamin C
and zinc. There is little evidence of any
therapeutic benefit from these agents.
Ivy leaf extract (Hedera helix) is used
to treat conditions including chronic
bronchitis in children and coughs and
is thought to exert an expectorant and
antispasmodic action on the respiratory
tract.24 Although there has been some
research into its effectiveness and safety in
children under the age of 18 years, further
research is needed.
Ivy leaf extract
preparations have been shown to be
safe when taken at recommended doses
and are well tolerated.25 Ivy leaf extract is
contained in Duro-Tuss Children’s Cough
Liquid, Blackmores Cough Combat Ivy Leaf
Extract, Prospan Chesty Cough Relief and
Lactoferrin, a glycoprotein, is found in
many biological fluids such as tears,
saliva, nasal and bronchial secretions,
gastrointestinal fluids, colostrum and
particularly breast milk. There is some
evidence for its use as a cold preventative
and in reducing the symptoms of cold.27
Lactoferrin is contained in Faulding
Immune Biotic and Duro-Tuss Children’s
Cough Liquid 6 months+.
Offering the most appropriate
treatment for coughs and colds is
based on differentiating between
symptoms of more severe underlying
conditions and self‐limiting URTIs.
Medicines used to manage simple
viral URTIs provide symptomatic relief.
OTC cough and cold medicines are
not recommended for children under
the age of 6 years.
Coughs and colds, due to URTIs, are
treated in children under the age of
six years with supportive therapies.
Answer online at www.psa.org.au
References located on page 76.
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