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Expert Rev Respir Med. 2011 Aug;5(4):503-13. doi: 10.1586/ers.11.35.

Therapy for cough: where does it fall short?

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Child Health Division, Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT, Australia.


Studies on cough have come a long way but many shortfalls still exist. These shortfalls can be attributed to: the lack of randomized controlled studies with a focus on cough; studies not using robust cough outcome measures, poor definition of target groups in studies and guidelines, the lack of safe and efficacious treatments; difficulty in defining etiological factors, and the lack of data on the predictors of response to therapies for cough dominant etiologies. Addressing shortfalls in cough therapy that focuses on improving the lives of people with cough requires a systematic approach that includes better medications, high quality studies, improved multidisciplinary guidelines and education (of both health professionals and patients). To achieve new cough therapeutics requires an improved understanding of cough in humans (i.e., not just in animals). Development of new medications without substantial adverse events is long awaited for cough.

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