Despite all the debate over the use of cough-cold medicines in children under the age of 12, sales of cough-cold medicines didn’t do too badly last year. For the 52 weeks ended Jan. 25, sales of all cough-cold remedies — including cough drops, cough syrups, cold-allergy liquids and cold-allergy tablets — were up 10.5%, totaling $4 billion across food, drug and mass outlets (minus Walmart) according to Information Resources Inc data. Of course, the lion’s share of that growth comes courtesy of the latest allergy reliever to make its way from prescription vials to over-the-counter aisles. Factoring out the sales impact of McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s Zyrtec, which generated in excess of $331 million across its Zyrtec syrup, Zyrtec tablet and Zyrtec-D tablet, the overall cough-cold category still grew by 1.4%. Considering that’s on a base of $3.6 billion, that represents incremental growth of almost $50 million.