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FASEB J. 2005 Feb;19(2):231-3. Epub 2004 Nov 17.

Theobromine inhibits sensory nerve activation and cough.

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  • 1Department of Thoracic Medicine, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK.

Erratum in

  • FASEB J. 2005 Feb;19(2):1 p following 233.

Abstract

Cough is a common and protective reflex, but persistent coughing is debilitating and impairs quality of life. Antitussive treatment using opioids is limited by unacceptable side effects, and there is a great need for more effective remedies. The present study demonstrates that theobromine, a methylxanthine derivative present in cocoa, effectively inhibits citric acid-induced cough in guinea-pigs in vivo. Furthermore, in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in man, theobromine suppresses capsaicin-induced cough with no adverse effects. We also demonstrate that theobromine directly inhibits capsaicin-induced sensory nerve depolarization of guinea-pig and human vagus nerve suggestive of an inhibitory effect on afferent nerve activation. These data indicate the actions of theobromine appear to be peripherally mediated. We conclude theobromine is a novel and promising treatment, which may form the basis for a new class of antitussive drugs.

PMID:
15548587
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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