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Vol. 43. Issue 5.
Pages 449-455 (September - October 2015)
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Vol. 43. Issue 5.
Pages 449-455 (September - October 2015)
Original Article
DOI: 10.1016/j.aller.2014.06.002
Effect of multiple honey doses on non-specific acute cough in children. An open randomised study and literature review
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S. Miceli Sopoa,
Corresponding author
, M. Grecoa, S. Monacoa, G. Varrasib, G. Di Lorenzoc, G. Simeoned, for the Milk Honey Study (M&HS) Group
a Department of Pediatrics, Catholic University of Sacre Hearth, Rome, Italy
b Pediatria On Line, The Italian Pediatrics in Internet, Brescia, Italy
c Dipartimento BioMedico di Medicina Interna e Specialistica, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy
d Family Pediatrician, Carovigno, Brindisi, Italy
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Figures (1)
Tables (4)
Table 1. Paul et al. questionnaire6 used in our study.
Table 2. Success and failures between study arms. No relevant statistical difference was found.
Table 3. Comparison between scores medians observed at the beginning of the study and during the three evenings. Scores differences were not statistically significant.
Table 4. Randomised clinical trials on non-specific paediatric acute cough and honey and their results.
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Abstract
Background

Honey is recommended for non-specific acute paediatric cough by the Australian guidelines. Current available randomised clinical trials evaluated the effects of a single evening dose of honey, but multiple doses outcomes have never been studied.

Objectives

To evaluate the effects of wildflower honey, given for three subsequent evenings, on non-specific acute paediatric cough, compared to dextromethorphan (DM) and levodropropizine (LDP), which are the most prescribed over-the-counter (OTC) antitussives in Italy.

Methods

134 children suffering from non-specific acute cough were randomised to receive for three subsequent evenings a mixture of milk (90ml) and wildflower honey (10ml) or a dose of DM or LDP adjusted for the specific age. The effectiveness was evaluated by a cough questionnaire answered by parents. Primary end-point efficacy was therapeutic success. The latter was defined as a decrease in cough questionnaire score greater than 50% after treatment compared with baseline values.

Results

Three children were excluded from the study, as their parents did not complete the questionnaire. Therapeutic success was achieved by 80% in the honey and milk group and 87% in OTC medication group (p=0.25).

Conclusions

Milk and honey mixture seems to be at least as effective as DM or LDP in non-specific acute cough in children. These results are in line with previous studies, which reported the health effects of honey on paediatric cough, even if placebo effect cannot be totally excluded.

Keywords:
Acute cough
Children
Dextromethorphane
Honey
Levodropropizine

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