Gabapentin: a suppressant for refractory chronic cough.

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London SW3 6LY, UK.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 39.21). 08/2012; 380(9853). DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(12)61070-8
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Worldwide, cough is regarded as a challenging clinical problem due to its frequency and often limited therapeutic options. Chronic cough that remains refractory to usual medical treatment causes significant quality of life impairment in people with this problem. Methods: We have examined current evidence on recent additions in the treatment of cough, specifically treatment of refractory chronic cough with speech pathology and gabapentin. Relevant randomised control trials, reviews and case reports were identified through a PubMed and SCOPUS search of English-language literature referring to these concepts over the last eight years. Summary: Of the one hundred and two articles comprising this review the majority investigated the role of the transient receptor potential (TRP) receptors TRP Vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) and TRPA1 in cough and the potential of TRP antagonists as effective anti-tussives. However, these have only been tested in the laboratory and therefore their clinical effectiveness is unknown. Behavioural treatments such as speech pathology have gained momentum and this was evident in the increasing number of articles investigating its positive effect on cough. Investigation on the effectiveness of neuromodulating medications in the treatment of cough have been supported primarily through case series reports and prospective reviews however; their use (particularly gabapentin) has been significantly advanced through recently conducted randomised controlled trials. Conclusions: Recent additions in the treatment of chronic cough have been significant as they consider cough to have a unifying diagnosis of cough hypersensitivity with or without the presence of a neuropathic basis. Primarily, effective treatments for chronic cough target these areas and include behavioural treatment such as speech pathology and pharmaceutical treatment with neuromodulating medications such as gabapentin.
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    ABSTRACT: We have shown that some patients presenting with chronic bronchodilator-resistant non-productive cough have a global atopic tendency and cough hypersensitivity without nonspecific bronchial hyperresponsiveness, abbreviated as atopic cough (AC). The cough can be treated successfully with histamine H1 antagonists and/or glucocorticoids. Eosinophilic tracheobronchitis and cough hypersensitivity are pathological and physiological characteristics of AC. Fungus-associated chronic cough (FACC) is defined as chronic cough associated with basidiomycetous (BM) fungi found in induced sputum, and recognition of FACC has provided the possibility of using antifungal drugs as new treatment strategies. Bjerkandera adusta is a wood decay BM fungus, which has attracted attention because of its potential role in enhancing the severity of cough symptoms in FACC patients by sensitization to this fungus. Before making a diagnosis of "idiopathic cough" in cases of chronic refractory cough, remaining intractable cough-related laryngeal sensations, such as "a sensation of mucus in the throat (SMIT)," which is correlated with fungal colonization, should be evaluated and treated appropriately in each patient. The new findings, i.e., the detection of environmental mushroom spores that should not be present in the human airways in addition to the good clinical response of patients to antifungal drugs, may lead to the development of novel strategies for treatment of chronic cough.
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