Treatment of recalcitrant cough with baclofen

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Paolo Agostinis *
Paola Bardus
Vito Di Piazza
Ferdinando Dassi
Nadia Durigon
Alfio Englaro
Patrizia Grillo
Euro Marchetti
Tiziano Petris
Enzo Sabatini
(*) Corresponding Author:
Paolo Agostinis |


Background: Chronic dry cough is a debilitating symptom often refractory to standard antitussive therapy. It may result from increased sensitivity of the cough reflex. Baclofen, an agonist of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), has been shown, in animals, to have antitussive activity via a central mechanism. In normal subjects baclofen has been revealed ability to inhibit capsaicininduced cough and cough due to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. In addition, chronic therapy with baclofen has been shown to reduce cough reflex sensitivity in subjects with cervical spinal cord injury.
Clinical cases: We describe two patients with chronic refractory cough who obtained symptomatic improvement after oral baclofen administration. The antitussive effect of baclofen, usually used for treatment of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord lesions, can be explained by central inhibition, but may also involve peripheral inhibitory mechanisms.

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