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Infant taking Levolin for cough and runny nose. Is it safe? Amboxol better?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
My 5 month daughter has been recommended Levolin (salbutamol) for cough and runny nose. Is it safe? or is amboxol better?
She has been having cough since last five days, with no improvement. She has been taking levolin for the past few days.
The doctor has also recommended an antibiotic for precaution. is it really required.
Posted Tue, 18 Sep 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 1 hour later
Thanks for posting your query.
Levolin ( salbutamol ) is a bronchodilator used in the treatment of lung diseases, such as asthma, where spasms of the airways cause breathing problems. Bronchodilators work by relaxing the airway muscles, known as bronchial tubes, allowing for oxygen delivery to resume. It is used to treat symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. It is available as both an oral medication and an inhaled solution. While it is considered a safe medication for babies with respiratory conditions, it can cause certain side effects that need to be monitored during its use like rapid pulse rate, nausea vomiting ,Irritability , restlessness and tremors.
Ambroxol is a mucolytic and decreases the tenacity of the mucus , helps in easy drainage therefore safe and better to relieve congestion.

Though without a physical examination I cannot comment about the need for antibiotics and bronchodilator medications in your baby I would like to say the following.
1. Most viral infections causing runny nose and cough in infants are self resolving and even with minimal or no supportive therapy it resolves within a week or two.
Supportive therapy mostly includes ,
Saline Nose drops ( nasivion , nasoclear etc) in 2 drops in each nostril thrice daily to clear blocked or runny nose.
Decongestants containing chlorpheniramine ( antihistamine ) which decreases the cough .
Ambroxol to clear mucus as present in cough expectorant drops ( Mucolyte etc)
If wheeze , breathing difficulty , bronchoconstriction is suspected by doctor then he might start inhaled nebulisation medicines like ipratropium or salbutamol .
Alternatively some may prescribe oral salbutamol syrup or drops .
If there is any worsening of symptoms or development of high fever , creptitations in chest etc signifying a bacterial infection then antibiotics like Cefixime or amoxicillin or azithromycin might be added.

So kindly discuss with your child's pediatrician and if after thorough reexamination your doctor feels the need for any medications it would be in the best interest of your baby .
Meanwhile the most important thing to do is to maintain good hydration by frequent breastfeeding and keeping the baby comfortable , clean and well rested .
Sometimes saline steam inhalations or nebulisations may also be helpful if advised by your doctor.
Hope I have answered your query.
Kindly accept my answer if you have no further queries.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Infant taking Levolin for cough and runny nose. Is it safe? Amboxol better? 17 minutes later
Thanks Dr. XXXXXXX
For some reason we have ended up consulting two doctors for our daughter. One has recommended Salbutamol and other Ambroxol. She has some congestion in the chest. Which of these two medicines are safer/lower-risk for the baby?
Also, is it normal for the baby to have cough for more than a week?

Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 1 hour later
Thanks for the follow up.
I can understand your plight and this is a very common scenario when parents lose their patience or faith especially if the child persists to have cough beyond a week.
To answer your query,
Answer 1. It is mostly said ambroxol is a safer medication Or lower risk one for the baby as compared to salbutamol .
Answer 2. Yes , cough can usually persist for 7-10 days( or more if treatment is delayed). If there are no other symptoms like fever, breathlessness , wheezing or refusal to feed then such cough is not XXXXXXX and may resolve on its own . However if any such symptom is present then appropriate antibiotic and bronchodilator might be needed.

Also remember the two medications levolin and ambroxol are not of the same class and levolin is a bronchodilator whereas ambroxol a mucolytic . There are also syrups which have a combination of both salbutamol and ambroxol ( salmodil plus or ambrolite S ) .
Please follow up with your child's pediatrician if you feel there is no relief with above medications as there might be need to do some tests like X-ray or start antibiotics.
Hope I have answered your query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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