Using Vicks VapoRub to treat cough and muscle aches


Vicks VapoRub is a popular over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medication that is applied to the skin for treatment cough and relieve muscle aches and pains. Both symptoms are often caused by common cold.

There is no evidence that Vicks VapoRub can cure upper respiratory tract symptoms, but it can help reduce congestion and coughing. For temporary treatment of mild myalgia (muscle pain), it definitely provides relief from symptoms.

The active ingredients of Vicks VapoRub are camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol. Inactive ingredients include cedar leaf oil, nutmeg oil, vaseline, thymol and turpentine oil.

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Most people over the age of 2 can use Vicks VapoRub safely. However, you should consult your doctor before using Vicks VapoRub if:

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Have a chronic cough caused by smoking
  • You were diagnosed emphysema

You should not use Vicks VapoRub if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in Vicks VapoRub, including camphor, eucalyptus oil, or menthol.

Vicks VapoRub should never be used in children under 2 years of age. Studies have shown that the use of camphor in children younger than 3 years can cause seizures and is also serious leukocytosis (high white blood cell content) and hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels).


To cure coughs, rub Vicks VapoRub on your chest-never under your nostrils. To treat muscle aches, rub Vicks VapoRub directly into the muscle.

Vicks VapoRub should never be used internally or out of use. Do not use on damaged skin or burns.

A 2010 study from the Penn State School of Medicine found that Vicks VapoRub is more than 98% effective at relieving cough, stagnation, and sleep problems in children ages 2 to 11, but less effective at relieving rhinorrhea.cold).

Some people use Vicks VapoRub for non-traditional purposes, such as toenail fungus or hemorrhoids. These off-label uses have not been well studied or approved by the U.S. food and drug administration (FDA). They can be dangerous, causing excessive absorption of camphor and other ingredients through vulnerable or damaged tissues.

side effects

There are several side effects documented for Vicks VapoRub, but some have occurred. Because the medication is topical (applied to the skin), the most likely side effects are skin irritation, rash, redness, or hives.

If you notice these side effects, you should stop taking the medication and call your health care provider. There have also been reports that Vicks VapoRub causes shortness of breath, especially in children under the age of two.

There have been isolated cases involving older people where excessive use of Vicks VapoRub may have been responsible for the development of respiratory disorders and pneumonia.

If you or your child experiences shortness of breath, dizziness, hives, or irregular heartbeat after using Vicks VapoRub, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

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