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Multidiscip Respir Med. 2015 May 31;10(1):19. doi: 10.1186/s40248-015-0014-3. eCollection 2015.

Levodropropizine for treating cough in adult and children: a meta-analysis of published studies.

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Pneumology Unit, University of Bologna, S. Orsola Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy.
Medical Department, Dompé SPA, Milan, Italy.
University Hospital Careggi, Florence, Italy.
Department of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY USA.
Respiratory Medicine and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Section, Clinic Center, Private Hospital, Naples, Italy.



Cough is one of the most common symptoms for which patients seek medical attention from primary care physicians and lung specialists. About 40% of the population at any one time report cough. Cough is associated with significantly impaired health-related quality of life. Levodropropizine is an effective and very well tolerated peripheral antitussive drug. We want to compare it to central cough suppressants efficacy (opioids and non-opioids) that may be associated with side effects limiting their use.


After a comprehensive literature search, a meta-analysis of 7 clinical studies of levodropropizine vs. control, including a total of 1,178 patients, was performed with the aim to evaluate the overall comparative efficacy of levodropropizine in the pediatric and adult population. Three electronic databases and reference list were used to search for studies that assessed the efficacy of levodropropizine for treating cough in children and adults using as standardized efficacy parameters the cough frequency and severity, and number of night awakenings as outcome parameters.


The meta-analysis of all standardized efficacy parameters showed a highly statistically significant difference in the overall antitussive efficacy in favor of levodropropizine vs. control treatments (p = 0.0015). The heterogeneity test for the efficacy outcome was not statistically significant (p = 0.0534). Seven studies met out inclusion criteria. A meta-analysis of the eligible ones showed a statistically significant difference in the overall anti-tussive effect of levodropropizine versus control (p = 0.0015).


This analysis indicates that levodropropizine is an effective antitussive drug in children and adults, with statistically significant better overall efficacy outcomes vs. central antitussive drugs (codeine, cloperastine, dextromethorphan) in terms of reducing cough intensity and frequency, and nocturnal awakenings. This result further reinforces the favorable benefit/risk profile of levodropropizine in the management of cough. The efficacy of levodropropizine in the treatment of cough in children and adults is higher than that of the common centrally-acting anti-tussive.

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