Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI)-associated acute cough is the most common symptom both in children and adults worldwide and causes economic and social problems with significant implications for the patient, the patient's family, and the health care system. New pathogenic mechanisms in acute cough, including the urge to cough (UTC) mechanisms, have been recently identified. The brainstem neural network, pharyngeal sensory innervation, airway mechanical stimulation, inflammatory mediators, and postnasal drip actively participate in the onset and maintenance of acute cough and the urge to cough phenomenon. However, there is still no effective pharmacological treatment capable of interfering with the pathophysiologic mechanisms involved in URTI-associated acute cough. Moreover, severe adverse events frequently occur in administering such cough medications, mainly in children. New evidence has been provided concerning polysaccharides, resins, and honey as potential cough relievers with high antitussive efficiency, effect on the UTC, and minimal side effects.
- acute cough
- upper respiratory tract infection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine