Q&A with Dr. Zak founder of Zarbee’s

We had the honor of interviewing  Dr. Zak Zarbock,  one of the country’s top pediatricians and the Founder and President of Zarbee’s, the fastest-growing children’s cough and cold brand in the country.

Dr. Zak (as he is known) is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, he also practices medicine at Families First Pediatrics in South Jordan, Utah.

Zarbock completed his medical training at The Ohio State University College of Medicine after earning his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from Brigham Young University. At Ohio State, he was honored for his outstanding pediatric research and academic achievements. He completed his pediatric internship and residency at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

Dr. Zak is married to his wife of 11 years and is the proud father of four boys between the ages of 3-11. While being a proud papa and  a top pediatrician he also developed , Zarbee’s products—a children’s cough syrup with a special blend of honeys fortified with immune-boosting vitamins that is also safe for women who are pregnant or nursing and a nighttime drink that soothes coughs and promotes healthy sleep—are recommended by more than 40,000 pediatricians nationwide. Zarbee’s products are all natural and gluten free, contain no drugs, alcohol and dyes, have no side effects and carry no risk of overdose.

Q&A with Dr. Zak Zarbock M.D. 

Q. How long have you been a pediatrician? What inspired you to become one?

After graduating from medical school at Ohio State University in 2005, I completed my three-year pediatric residency at the University of Utah and Primary Children’s Medical Center and have practiced at Families First Pediatrics in South Jordan, Utah since 2008.

Pediatrics has been an interest of mine for a very long time.  At the age of 11, I had a very good friend that was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a malignant bone cancer in children.  Through lots of prayers and excellent medical care he was cured of his cancer, and today has a family of his own.  That experience solidified my desire to become a pediatrician and help other children in similar situations.

Q. What brought about Zarbee’s?

I created Zarbee’s shortly after the FDA put bans and restrictions on over-the-counter cough and cold medications for children. As a father and a pediatrician, I have known for years that these products never seemed to work well, if at all. But when multiple studies confirmed this finding and more and more kids were dying related to their use, the FDA stepped in. Most parents feel extremely frustrated when they go to the doctor and don’t come away with a solution to their child’s problem. On the flip side, as a pediatrician, it is also very painful to send away a sleep-deprived mother with an answer of, “I’m sorry you have been up all night, but there is nothing you can do for your child’s cough.”  It was during those moments that I realized there had to be a better answer. After extensive research, I came across a study touting the benefits of buckwheat honey and its ability to safely relieve coughs more effectively than drug-based alternatives. With the help of my test subjects (aka our four sons) :), I was able to create a great tasting, all-natural, vitamin-enhanced, safe and very effective product, Zarbee’s All Natural Cough Syrup, specifically designed to keep mothers from going insane.{hallelujah!}

Q. Why should parents be leery of cough suppressants? Also is there danger for asthmatics using cough suppressants?

According to a recent study by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country, research has linked OTC cough and cold medicines to cases of poisoning or death in hundreds of children 2 years of age and younger. In addition, complications from cough medication use are estimated to send thousands of children under the age of 11 to emergency rooms every year. If used exactly as recommended, most OTC cough and cold meds will cause little, if any harm. The problem is, they are still ineffective and have potential for harm and/or abuse. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, dosage guidelines for cough and cold mixtures are extrapolated from adult data and clinical experience, and thus are imprecise for children, which can lead to adverse effects and overdosage. Additionally, studies have shown that traditional OTC cough medicines, including Dextromethorphan (which is not supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, has been banned for children four years of age and younger and is being scrutinized by the FDA as ineffective and potentially dangerous for children), in children from two to 18 years of age are no more effective than a placebo.  In fact, a glass of water would give you the same results. So the obvious question becomes, if these products are ineffective and potentially harmful, why are we giving them to our children?

With regards to asthma, no cough suppressant should ever take the place of prescribed asthma medications.  Asthma is a condition affecting the lungs that results in both inflammation and constriction of the airways.  Coughing due to asthma may in fact be an effort to keep airways clear and open.  Treating the asthma with appropriate medications will help cough more than attempting to treat the cough by itself.

Q. One of the products offered is a nighttime drink, Zarbee’s All Natural Cough and Sleep Drink. What makes this drink effective?


Zarbee’s Nighttime Cough and Sleep Drink is made from antioxidant-rich buckwheat honey, which recent clinical studies have shown is more effective at relieving coughs associated with colds and upper respiratory illnesses than Dextromethorphan (DM) or diphenhydramine, the two most common ingredients in over-the-counter cough medicines. In addition to buckwheat honey, Zarbee’s Nighttime Cough and Sleep Drink contains immune-boosting Vitamin C, zinc, elderberry and a small amount of melatonin, which research shows safely and naturally helps kids fall asleep.

Kids who are sick don’t sleep well, yet rest is crucial to recovery. As both a pediatrician and the father of four boys between the ages of three and 11, I know how difficult it is to have a sick child at home. You want them to feel better and rest, but you don’t want to put anything into their bodies that could be harmful. That’s why I created Zarbee’s Nighttime Cough and Sleep Drink. It’s the safest, gentlest and most effective remedy kids can take for coughs and sore throats due to the common cold .

Q. As a mother I am always baffled with the dyes that are placed in our foods and drinks, I try to stir away from anything unnatural.  When it comes to medicines I see the bright neon red and orange bottles and I gasp.  Is there ever any use of dyes in any Zarbee’s products?  

All Zarbee’s cough and cold products are 100% natural with absolutely no drugs, dyes, glutens, alcohol or artificial flavors. Both the All Natural Cough Syrup and Nighttime Cough & Sleep Drink have no side effects and carry no risk of overdose.

Q. With cold and flu season what are some things parents should do to prevent the domino effect in their homes?  Washing your hands regularly is the single most important thing you can do to prevent germs from spreading. Although you can’t be protected from every germ this way, frequent hand washing (for at least twenty seconds) has been known to decrease contracting and spreading viruses. This can be a challenge with children, but try and make it a practice. You can even make it fun by creating a game or competition. If you’re out and about and hand washing is impossible, hand sanitizer can be used. You don’t need to go overboard, but just being a little more aware during the cold and flu season can really help. Also, on the top of the list of prevention techniques is making sure you’re family is taking vitamins, such as Vitamin C and Zinc. And don’t forget the importance of proper nutrition, such as fruits and veggies that are naturally rich in vitamins and minerals. 


Thank you Dr.Zak! We could not be happier to share your knowledge.  We hope you enjoyed our interview and to learn more please check out Zarbee’s.com  and “like” Zarbee’s  on Facebook “like” Zarbee’s on facebook for news of special promotions, new product introductions, and more.

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