Inhaled cromones for prolonged non-specific cough in children

Children with non-specific cough (coughing not due to a diagnosed respiratory disease), are commonly treated with a variety of medications to treat the symptoms of cough. This review examined whether there was any evidence for children with non-specific cough to inhale cromoglycate and nedocromil (commonly called 'cromones'). There were no randomised controlled trials identified that assessed inhalation of cromones for prolonged non-specific cough in children. In two non-randomised studies, the researchers found that improvements were seen within two weeks of taking cromones. Because cromones have few adverse effects, they are an attractive treatment for children. However, there is no evidence to support their routine use for the symptoms of non-specific cough in children. Further research examining the effects of this treatment is needed.

Authors' conclusions: 

There is currently an absence of evidence to support the routine use of inhaled cromones 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 cromones.

Objectives: 

To determine the efficacy of inhaled cromones in the management of prolonged non-specific cough in children.

Search strategy: 

Trials were identified from CENTRAL, MEDLINE and EMBASE database searches. The Australian representative of the relevant pharmaceutical company was contacted. The latest searches were performed in July 2010.

Selection criteria: 

All randomised controlled trials comparing inhaled cromones 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. One single arm open trial in children and one small randomised controlled trial in adults were reported.

Main results: 

No randomised-controlled trials that examined the efficacy of inhaled cromones in the management of prolonged non-specific cough in children were found. In the non randomised trials above, a significant effect was seen within two weeks of therapy.

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