Everyone coughs, but some people cough almost constantly. Coughs can disrupt sleep, exhaust the coughing patient and can get in the way of simply enjoying life. If the cough is temporary and due to an infection, one can simply wait for the cough to go away. 

Sometimes the cough is the sign of an underlying problem such as asthma. Treating this underlying problem can make the cough go away.

But for an unfortunate group, the cough has no apparent cause but continues to plague the cough sufferer month after month. Cough syrups don’t help and we all know the downside of potent cough suppressants such as opiates. This leaves many with no practical solutions. The cough simply never goes away. 

This is what makes the recent study published in the Lancet so exciting. The study looked at a new class of agents – the P2X3 inhibitors – they can interrupt the cough pathways to bring relief. The study reported here that a P2X3 treatment of Gefapixant can be successful. For the study participants, the results were poignant. For the 4 – 10% of adults worldwide that suffer from chronic coughs the work is encouraging news.

 The study followed 253 individuals who have struggled with chronic coughs for an average of 14.5 years. At baseline, participants reported an average of 25 coughs per hour. At the end of this 12-week study coughs per hour and severity of coughs were reduced in those receiving the Gefapixant treatment. Those receiving the 50 mg treatment of Gefapixant showed greater improvements compared to those receiving 7.5 mg. The higher dose was also related to more side effects. Participants reported taste-related adverse events such as ageusia, hypogeusia, and dysgeusia, as well as oral hypoaesthesia. 

These results are promising and are paving the way to treat this overlooked need. Moving forward there are concerns and questions related to dosage and side effects. 

Inspiration Research Limited will soon be looking for people who have struggled with cough for several months or more to help us test the latest in cough treatments. If you’re interested in getting involved please reach out at 416 944 9602 or info@inspirationresearch.ca

Check out the article to learn more about this exciting research.