Most familiar cold and cough remedies we buy at the local pharmacy are dangerous, and should be removed from the shelves, a new report has declared. Around 30 per cent of people in Europe and the US regularly use the medications to treat colds and coughs, but nobody is telling them of the dangers, say researchers from Galen, the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network. These popular remedies contain the old generation of antihistamines which have been responsible for numerous accidents and deaths. Teenagers have used them to commit suicide, and they are also fatal if infants and toddlers are accidentally given an overdose. The drugs make people drowsy, say the researchers, and they also reduce REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. As a result, they have caused innumerable accidents on the roads. The new generation antihistamines are safer, but are as effective, say the researchers. They recommend that the remedies containing first-generation antihistamines are removed from the shelves immediately. (Source: Allergy, 2010; doi: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2009.02325.x).