Pharmacy Immunity: Drugs We Buy for Children

Interferons, or immunomodulators, are often recommended by doctors when a child has a cold or caught a virus. Do they really work?

There is a war around vaccinations, there is a war around homeopathy. Immunomodulators also have opponents and supporters. And not only among patients, but also among doctors. To understand what was happening and whether it was necessary to stuff the child with interferons, the pediatrician and the popular medical blogger Tatiana Butskaya helped us.

Tatyana Butskaya

Large-scale international studies of the effectiveness of interferon in the prevention and treatment of SARS and influenza have not been conducted. Hence the doubtful attitude of doctors towards these drugs. In general, the property of interferon to prevent the reproduction of viruses and stimulate the immune system to combat them has been proven. But we are talking about the natural interferon of the body - proteins that begin to produce cells when the body is attacked by microbes.

Tablets, ointments or drops?

how to raise the child's immunity
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If interferons are naturally produced by the body, then why additionally stimulate their production with artificial preparations? Large doses of interferon are used in the treatment of real immunodeficiency - in cancer patients, for the treatment of hepatitis, autoimmune diseases and other serious infections.

But are interferon preparations effective for the prevention and treatment of influenza and ARVI?

On this issue, the opinions of doctors differ greatly. Some studies confirm: interferon drops and ointments for the nose create a barrier for their penetration into the body. However, the main specialist of Moscow in infectious diseases, the chief physician of the 1st Infectious Diseases Hospital, Andrei Devyatkin, believes that immunomodulators, which stimulate the body to produce its own interferons, are more beneficial:

“I recommend taking interferon inductors: kagocel, cycloferon, amixin. They stimulate the production in the body of its own interferon, enhancing non-specific immunity. This is more physiological than the use of preparations of the finished interferon, which can cause an allergic reaction to the protein. "

But there is another opinion: it’s not worth being introduced into the body’s immune system once again for the sake of preventing ARVI. After all, interferon preparations are not analgesics, antipyretic or antibiotics, they do not have an instant effect, but work at the cellular level.

“I'm for immunomodulators, but local action. For example, lysobact, imudon - without a systemic effect on the body, - says otolaryngologist, head of the department of the State Budgetary Health Institution GP 166 DZM Polina Petukhova. - Immunity reactions to stimulation are not always predictable. There are different side effects, a person can begin, on the contrary, more often get sick. "

It is worth considering that with good immunity in humans, the effect of interferon preparations will be weaker.

But does it make sense?

Tatyana Butskaya

I myself use interferon ointments and sprays in the nose: this, of course, is not a panacea, but at least an additional barrier protection. Although here opinions are divided.

“Viferon is more effective not against viruses, but against herpes,” says Andrei Devyatkin. “And oxolin has about the same effect as lubricating the nasal mucosa with a fat-containing substance, for example, butter — it simply envelops the mucous membrane, creating a very short-lived barrier to the ingress of viruses.”

“I believe that interferon acts better in liquid form, for example, nasal flupferon drops, ophthalmic - ophthalmic. Interferon makes sense to bury children, pregnant. And best of all ointments and drops is saline spray for the nose, ”adds Podina Petukhova.

And most importantly, are interferon preparations effective for the prevention and treatment of SARS and flu in children?

“It makes sense for children to take interferon preparations only in the first few hours of the symptoms of the disease,” says Maria Surina, pediatrician of the Mother and Child group of companies. - You can use anaferon, viferon. Candles or pills depend solely on the age of the child. But the beginning of the disease is not always possible to catch and notice, so if you missed it, then further interferons will not help. Interferon prophylaxis makes sense only if everyone is sick at home. Then it is better to drip the baby's nose into flupferon or derinat to affect the local immunity of the nasopharyngeal mucosa. ”

So, how many doctors, so many opinions. And this is perfectly normal in a situation where the effectiveness of the drug in relation to a particular disease has not been proven scientifically.

Tatyana Butskaya

How do I treat immunomodulators and interferons? I believe that the prevention of respiratory diseases should not start with pills. It is better to train yourself to take vitamins, wash your nose twice a day, eat fully, become tempered, use herbs, honey, onions, garlic, ginger, berries and run in the morning to prevent it.