Anticholinergics for prolonged non-specific cough in children

Anne B. Chang, Michael C. McKean, Peter S. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Non-specific cough is defined as non-productive cough in the absence of identifiable respiratory disease or known aetiology. It is commonly seen in paediatric practice. These children are treated with a variety of therapies including inhaled anti-cholinergic medications. Objectives: To determine the efficacy of inhaled anti-cholinergic medications in the management of prolonged non-specific cough in children. Search methods: The Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE and EMBASE databases were searched. Relevant pharmaceutical companies were contacted. The latest searches were carried out in April 2010. Selection criteria: All randomised controlled trials comparing inhaled anti-cholinergic medication with a placebo medication. Data collection and analysis: Results of searches were reviewed against pre-determined criteria for inclusion. No eligible trials were identified and thus no data were available for analysis. A single small trial in adults has been reported. Main results: No randomised-controlled trials that examined the efficacy of inhaled anti-cholinergic medications in the management of prolonged non-specific cough in children were found. An additional search in April 2010 did not identify any further studies. Authors' conclusions: There is currently no evidence to support the use of inhaled anti-cholinergics for symptomatic control of non-specific cough in children. Further research examining the effects of this intervention is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD004358
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Karen Blackhall and Liz Arnold for performing the relevant searches and the Cochrane Airways Group for their supportive role. We also thank Susan Hansen for performing the 2007 & 2010 searches.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2010 The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


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