Drugs That May Be Prescribed by Your Doctor for Cough:
“I had to come to terms that this cough wasn’t going away and that it didn’t feel as though it was from a common cold,” she says. “The cough was dry, and it would come in intense waves. I would cough uncontrollably when this happened, to the point where I was gagging and couldn’t catch my breath.” After seeing a handful of doctors, she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. “As a never-smoker, this was an initial shock to me and everyone in my life,” Palacios says.
Empirical treatment should be offered to patients with cough and typical reflux symptoms before oesophageal testing. Cough can be a debilitating symptom in many common acute and chronic respiratory diseases. Bronchial provocation testing should be performed in patients without a clinically obvious aetiology referred to a respiratory physician with chronic cough and normal spirometry. A 52-year-old man complained to his family physician (FP) about hoarseness and a chronic cough that had been bothering him for the past 6 months.
Viral infection enhances the cough reflex sensitivity57 and may make subclinical bronchial hyperresponsiveness or reflux clinically apparent. Chronic cough is more likely to occur in middle aged women. Chronic cough has wide ranging and potentially profound effects of cough on health status. This non-sedating opiate is a component of many over-the-counter cough remedies and has been shown to suppress acute cough in a single meta-analysis.26 The generally recommended dosage is probably subtherapeutic.
An allergist is an allergy specialist who may treat chronic cough due to allergies. Gastroenterologists specialize in diseases of the digestive tract and can treat chronic cough due to conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). Cardiologists specialize in diseases of the heart and circulatory system and may treat persistent cough that can be a secondary symptom of heart disease.
Most causes of cough are benign and self-limited. A persistent cough with other symptoms such as shortness of breath, phlegm production, rapid breathing, chest pain, or wheezing could indicate an underlying disease that needs the immediate attention of your doctor. Some of the causes of acute cough can continue beyond 3 weeks and cause sub-acute and chronic cough. • Persistent cough is a common respiratory symptom but can also indicate disease of the heart, stomach and nervous system.
The severity and duration of acute cough will vary widely but many will reach a threshold of severity that precipitates self-medication. Pyramid of incidence of acute cough.
Physical findings on examination of the chest are often very helpful and include dullness on percussion, bronchial breathing, and crackles on auscultation. Acute viral URTIs exhibit seasonality, and this causes seasonality in the incidence of acute cough and sales of cough medicines18 as well as hospital admissions with co-morbidity. Cough is a common symptom associated with influenza and influenza-like illness, with 93% of patients suffering from influenza having cough as a symptom.19 Influenza activity in the population shows a clear seasonality that usually peaks at the turn of the year around week 52.20 The seasonality of influenza-like illness will contribute to seasonality of cough as a common seasonal symptom in the general population.
Asthma, whether “cough-variant” (where cough is the sole or predominant symptom) or “classic” (with symptoms including wheezing) is the second most common cause of chronic cough, found in 24-29% of patients. Coughing inflames the sensory afferent nerves (those that carry messages from receptors to the central nervous system). Leukotrienes, lipid mediators whose production also generates histamines, are thought to contribute to the inflammation. Asthma therapy (usually a combination of inhaled bronchodilators and steroids) can take up to eight weeks to show improvement. An oral leukotriene receptor antagonist known as zafirlukast has in some cases been more effective than steroids in reducing asthma-associated cough, possibly because it more effectively suppresses the interaction of eosinophils (white blood cells that fight concomitant infection during asthmatic reaction) with cough receptors.
Chronic cough should only be considered idiopathic following thorough assessment at a specialist cough clinic. There is an association between upper airway disease and cough but a poor association between the various symptoms and cough.
Sometimes heartburn can make it difficult to lie down without feeling like your chest is on fire. This is due to stomach acid escaping your stomach, and flowing the wrong way into your esophagus. “That’s why people with chronic heartburn raise the head of their bed, and why they shouldn’t eat big meals right before bedtime,” Gardner said.
If you’re experiencing signs or symptoms of GERD, acid reflux, and heartburn, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today. In addition to coughing and chest congestion, bronchitis can produce fever, chills, aches, sore throat, and other flu-like symptoms.
Unfortunately, most symptoms of lung cancer do not show up until the later stages of the disease. Symptoms of lung cancer may include coughing up blood, even a slight amount; a new cough that doesn’t subside; changes in a chronic cough; shortness of breath; wheezing; chest pain; a hoarse voice; unintended weight loss; headache; and bone pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. If chronic cough persists, it is important to be evaluated by a doctor. The health-care professional will consider the possibility of asthma, postnasal drip, esophageal reflux, drug side effects, interstitial lung disease, lung cancer, or other unusual infections.
Chronic cough is not a disease in itself, but rather a symptom of an underlying condition. If you have COPD or another breathing disease, it’s important to catch it early and treat it as soon as possible. If you get early treatment for COPD, you can slow down the damage to your lungs. This means you’ll have fewer symptoms and you’ll be more able to do your regular activities and hobbies.