Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Diphtheria Cough in Children

Home treatment of a cough in children with diphtheria includes:

  • Avoid respiratory irritants, such as pollution, pollen, mold, dust and chemical fumes
  • Change A/C and furnace filters regularly.
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
  • Drink warm liquids to relieve coughing spasms.
  • Use throat lozenges, but do not use them in children under 5 years of age.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.

Cough medicines:

Dosing Dextromethorphan
Childs WeightDextromethorphan Dose
22 lb (10 kg)5 mg every 8 hrs
33 lb (15 kg)7.5 mg every 8 hrs
44 lb (20 kg)10 mg every 8 hrs
55 lb (25 kg)12.5 mg every 8 hrs
66 lb (30 kg)15 mg every 8 hrs
88 lb (40 kg)20 mg every 8 hrs
110 lb (50 kg)25 mg every 8 hrs
132 lb-adult (60 kg)30 mg every 8 hrs

Cough medication precautions:

Continue to Diphtheria Pain and Fever Adults

Last Updated: Dec 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Diphtheria References
  1. Matheson AJ, Goa KL. Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine adsorbed (Triacelluvax; DTaP3-CB): a review of its use in the prevention of Bordetella pertussis infection. Paediatr Drugs. 2000 Mar-Apr;2(2):139-59. [10937466]
  2. McCluney NA, McKerrow WS. Should we be concerned about diphtheria in the UK? Surgeon. 2004 Aug;2(4):234-5. [15570833]
  3. Pichichero ME, Rennels MB, Edwards KM, Blatter MM, Marshall GS, Bologa M, Wang E, Mills E. Combined tetanus, diphtheria, and 5-component pertussis vaccine for use in adolescents and adults. JAMA. 2005 Jun 22;293(24):3003-11. [15933223]
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