Saturday, November 17, 2007

A popular placebo

From the Ottawa Citizen:
They've been a mainstay on drug store shelves for decades. They come in many flavours -- cherry, grape, bubblegum -- all tailored to a child's sugar-loving palate. And when your little one had an up-all-night cough or a nose runnier than a soft-boiled egg, you probably bought one of these over-the-counter (OTC) infant cough or cold medicines. Because they work. Right?

Dani Donders, an Ottawa mother of two, thought so. She's given her sons Tylenol Infant Cold, and while the results weren't spectacular, she believed it must do something; otherwise, drug stores wouldn't sell it.

Andrea Tomkins, who lives with her husband and two daughters in Westboro, also thought children's cold medicines worked. At least a little. If one of her daughters had a nasty cough, Tomkins reached for an off-the-shelf remedy. Who wouldn't? ...more

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