Anticholinergics for prolonged non specific cough in children

Children with non-specific cough, (non-productive cough in the absence of identifiable chest disease) are commonly treated with a variety of medications for control of cough symptoms. This review examined the effect of inhaled anti-cholinergic drugs in children with non-specific cough. Currently there is no evidence to support the use of inhaled anti-cholinergics as no randomised-controlled trials of inhaled anti-cholinergic medications in the management of prolonged non-specific cough in children were found.

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.

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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 strategy: 

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.

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