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Treatment of subacute and chronic cough in adults

Authors
Steven E Weinberger, MD
Ronald C Silvestri, MD
Section Editors
Peter J Barnes, DM, DSc, FRCP, FRS
Talmadge E King, Jr, MD
Deputy Editor
Helen Hollingsworth, MD

INTRODUCTION

Although an acute and self-limited cough often does not require therapy, prolonged cough can be a bothersome symptom that precipitates many outpatient visits to the clinician for treatment. Differing definitions for a chronic cough have been proposed that require symptoms for varying times from two weeks to three months [1,2]. Guidelines from the American College of Chest Physicians distinguish three categories of cough based upon duration [1]:

Acute cough, lasting less than three weeks

Subacute cough, lasting between three and eight weeks

Chronic cough, lasting more than eight weeks

The initial priorities for patients with cough lasting more than three weeks (subacute or chronic cough) are to identify a precipitant or etiology, and then to eliminate the precipitant or treat the underlying cause [3-6].

                           

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Tue Mar 29 00:00:00 GMT 2016.
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