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A cold is a cold is a cold....

You've doubtless heard the old adage: "An untreated cold will last about 72 hours, but if treated vigorously, it will be over in three days." Yet we continue to spend enormous sums on cold remedies of dubious value.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore recently tested one of the most popular forms of therapy--a combination of decongestant and antihistamine--on 84 young children with colds. One-third were given the combination of drugs, one-third were given a placebo, and one-third were given nothing at all.

The parents of those in the first two groups were not told whether their children received the drugs or the placebo. All parents were interviewed at the time their children entered the study and against two days later to determine the nature and intensity of the symptoms. In all three gorups, about two-thirds of the children were reported as having shown improvement after two days. The only significant difference among the three groups related to the symptom of "congested or runny nose," and the most improvement was reported in the placebo group!

The authors of the study, published in the January Journal of Pediatrics, concluded that a decongestant-antihistamine treatment offers no benefits to children with colds.
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Title Annotation:research shows decongestant-antihistamine treatment offers no benefit to children with colds
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Apr 1, 1991
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