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Are Calpol, Maxtra and Alerid effective at treating fever, cough and runny nose?

Answered by
Dr. Sumanth Amperayani

Pediatrician, Pulmonology

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 7621 Questions

Posted on Fri, 11 Jan 2019 in General Health
Question: Hi Doctor,
My daughter is 14 months old.
She played with water on Holi (2nd March) and is having fever now since 3rd March. Other symptoms are as follows:
1. Fever fluctuating between 99.5 to 102 since 3rd March
2. Runny nose since today i.e. 3rd March and sneezing as well
3. Cough since 4th March and a bit increased today
4. Eyes look tired and watery
5. Reduced feeding

We have given her following medicines till now based on last visit to doctor when she was having similar condition one month back.
1. Calpol drops 1.5 ml every 6 hours (less during night) Since 3rd March
2. Maxtra started from today (5th March), 2.5 ml, have given only once as of now.
3. Alerid syrup, 2.5 ml twice a day

Please suggest whether we are giving her the right medicine and in right dosage? What else we should do? Her weight one month back was 10 KG. Is there a need of some antibiotic or take her to doctor?
Answered by Dr. Sumanth Amperayani 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Viral illness - no antibiotics

Detailed Answer:


A cough and cold are viral 95% of the times in children. For cold, you can use anti-allergics like cetirizine and for nose block, saline nasal decongestants will do.

Paracetamol can be given in the dose of 15mg/kg/dose (max ceiling dose 500mg) every 4-6th hourly, that too only if fever is more than 100F.

I suggest not using combination medicines for fever, especially with Paracetamol.

For cold, you can use Cetirizine at 0.25mg/kg/dose every 12 hourly for 3 days.

For the nasal block, plain saline nasal drops will do, every 4-6th hourly to relieve nasal congestion.

Combination medicines like Maxtra are not preferable
NO antibiotics for a viral illness like this.

I will explain to you how a viral illness behaves so that you can be more confident.

Fever of a few days without any localizing signs could as well a viral illness.

Usually, rather than fever, what is more, important is the activity of the child, in between 2 fever episodes on the same day.

If the kid is active and playing around when there is no fever, it is probably a viral illness and it doesn't require antibiotics at all.

Once viral fever comes it will there for 4-7 days. So do not worry about duration if the kid is active.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Sumanth Amperayani 1 hour later
Hi Doctor,
Thanks for your reply.
What I understood from your reply is that
1. We will continue giving Calpol (Paracetamol) in the recommended dosage for fever
2. We will continue giving Alerid (Cetrizine) in the recommended dosage for cold

Following are my queries now:
1. What shall we give for cough? We were giving maxtra but, as maxtra is not preferable then, which medicine we can use for cough?
2. She doesn't has block nose rather she is having runny nose. Do we have to use saline drops for runny nose?

Answered by Dr. Sumanth Amperayani 17 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Suggestions on cough

Detailed Answer:


1. Usually, I do not recommend anything for a cough. A cough is a protective reflex. During a cough, if there is any phlegm it will come up and the kid will swallow it.

It will, later on, come out in the vomiting or motion. So cough should not be suppressed and no need to treat it unless there is severe breathlessness.

2. Saline nasal drops should be used only if there is a nose block. No need to use them for a runny nose.

You have understood me correctly and please continue the management which I have suggested.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Sumanth Amperayani, Pediatrician, Pulmonology
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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