Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chronic cough in toddlers

Here's another question I received:

Our kids were coughing for 6 weeks, and it was particularly bad at night.  They had a well visit during that time, and I brought them back to the doctor when the cough persisted.  After a chest x-ray ruled out pneumonia, the doctor said to try zyrtec daily before bed.  It has helped, but how much should I expect it to help?  And how long should I keep giving it before I try stopping?    

This sounds to me like post nasal drip. The hallmark of this is the cough that's worse at night..
This can be caused by viruses (unlikely for 6 weeks but it's possible it's one cold after another) or allergies. If the zyrtec helped then I'd continue it but there are other allergy medicines that might be more helpful. Talk to you doctor about trying other meds or possibly an allergy referral if things are really bad.

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