Symptom or disease?When to Really Worry About a Cough and See a Doctor

thischronic cough is that Lasts more than 8 weeks (or more than 2 months), which may have health-related consequencesRespiratory disease or disease. This is a cough that we should consult and treat if necessary. Chronic cough affects 5.5% of the Spanish population.

Additionally, this chronic cough is different from the common cold cough that usually lasts 4 to 6 weeks. Until now, chronic cough has actually been treated and treated as a symptom, but it “almost always” has a specific that From 2024, the first drug for specific indications of chronic cough will be on the market This would be “probably a hospital prescription”.

This is explained like this Dr. Astrid Crespo, associate physician, Santa Cruz Pulmonary ServicesBarcelona Sao Paulo and researcher Barcelona Respiratory Network (BRN)a network dedicated to promoting collaborative research in the fieldRespiratory health.

“People who have a persistent cough for more than 8 weeks should consult their family doctor for an initial investigation into chronic cough and, if symptoms persist despite basic investigation, consider the possibility of referral to a pulmonologist to complete the investigation,” experts say. This is also the main message of the BRN conference to be held on November 14th at Parc Sanitari Pere Virgili in Barcelona.

People who have a persistent cough for more than 8 weeks should consult their family doctor for initial research into chronic cough.

The professional explains that the tests that must be performed vary depending on the age of the patient.among those younger CaseAllergies, rhinitis or asthma As a cause of chronic cough.and in elderly patients It is necessary to check whether the cough is related to reasons such as gastroesophageal reflux or taking antihypertensive drugs.

On the other hand, other causes of chronic cough may be smokes or other conditions directly related to smoking, e.g. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)because this, especially chronic bronchitis, can cause coughing.

Causes and treatment of chronic cough

The most common cause of chronic cough is post-infectious pathology, such as COVID-19. “A subset of patients affected by this infection have persistent COVID-19, that is, patients who have a cough for more than eight weeks and therefore develop a chronic cough. This cough secondary to COVID-19 infection will not be contagious, But from a serological perspective, the patient will not completely eliminate the virus,” the pulmonologist explained.

The doctor added that it should be noted that Chronic cough has a very significant impact on patients’ quality of life who suffer from it and their home environment without realizing it. “It is unclear how many health resources are allocated to treating this disease, as chronic cough has traditionally been considered a symptom, when in fact it should be considered a disease and its management should be heterogeneous, Must be multidisciplinary and addressed from different perspectives. Levels of assistance”.

Likewise, “Currently, There is currently no specific drug for the treatment of chronic cough, since they act at the level of the central nervous system, the drugs used have low efficacy and high side effects. In the last 5 to 10 years, specific drugs have been developed for patients with chronic cough,” said the pulmonologist, highlighting so-called P2X3 receptor antagonists.

“By 2024 The first drug specifically designed to treat chronic cough“, insists the expert, who achieved more than 75% relief in trials. “It may be suitable for refractory chronic cough (a cough that persists despite treatment of the underlying chronic disease) and idiopathic chronic cough (after thorough treatment). The underlying cause has not yet been discovered after diagnosis). This new drug will likely be used in hospitals; most likely only pulmonologists specializing in chronic coughs can prescribe it,” the expert concluded.

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