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3.9.1 Cough suppressants

Prescribing Notes

  • Cough may be a symptom of an underlying disorder (e.g. asthma, COPD, GORD, rhinitis) which should be addressed before prescribing cough suppressants.
  • Cough may be a side effect of another drug (e.g. ACE inhibitors), or it can be associated with smoking or environmental pollutants.
  • For persistent cough lasting over 4 to 6 weeks, the underlying cause should be established.
  • Cough can also have a significant habit component.
  • There is little evidence to support the use of cough suppressants in COPD and asthma.
  • Cough suppressants are available to purchase over the counter.