Use of specific neuromodulators in the treatment of chronic, idiopathic cough: A systematic review

Seth M. Cohen, Stephanie N Misono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objective. The goal of this systematic review was to examine the evidence for the use of the neuromodulating agents, amitriptyline, gabapentin, pregabalin, and baclofen, in the management of chronic, idiopathic cough patients. Data Sources. Online databases, including PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Review, and Web of Science, and publications cited in bibliographies were used. Review Methods. Literature was searched by the 2 authors with a priori criteria for study selection. Results. Eight relevant articles were identified, including 2 randomized controlled trials, 2 prospective cohort or case-series designs with consecutive patients, 1 retrospective case series of consecutive patients, 1 retrospective case series whose consecutive status was not known, and 2 case reports of 6 and 2 patients, respectively. Improvements in cough-specific quality of life were noted in the randomized controlled trials. Cough severity was reduced in studies that measured this outcome measure. In the remaining studies, cough symptoms were less after neuromodulator treatment. Conclusion. Benefit from neuromodulator treatment with amitriptyline, gabapentin, pregabalin, and baclofen in chronic, idiopathic cough patients was demonstrated. Further investigations using objective and subjective outcome measures are needed as well as studies exploring optimal dose, length of treatment, and relapse rates posttreatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-382
Number of pages9
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Sponsorships: This study was supported in part by the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery Cochrane Travel Grant to the 19th Cochrane Colloquium.


  • Amitriptyline
  • Baclofen
  • Chronic cough
  • Gabapentin
  • Idiopathic cough
  • Neuromodulator
  • Pregabalin
  • Treatment


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