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The antitussive effect of placebo treatment on cough associated with acute upper respiratory infection

Lee, Patrick C. L., Jawad, Mutaz S. M.., Hull, J. David, West, Will H. L., Shaw, Kerry and Eccles, Ronald 2005. The antitussive effect of placebo treatment on cough associated with acute upper respiratory infection. Psychosomatic Medicine 67 (2) , pp. 314-317. 10.1097/01.psy.0000155667.59662.92

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Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of a placebo treatment on cough in patients with cough associated with acute upper respiratory tract infection (URTI). Methods: Patients with dry or slightly productive cough associated with a history of URTI were recruited. Cough frequency (CF) over 15 minutes was recorded by means of a microphone connected to a pen recorder. Cough suppression time (CST) was recorded when patients were instructed by means of a red light to try not to cough. Patients received either a single dose of vitamin E (placebo treatment) or no treatment. CF and CST were recorded before and 15 minutes after treatment. Results: Twenty-seven patients were randomized to placebo treatment and 27 to the no-treatment group (mean age 22.6 years). The median difference between post- and pretreatment CF was -3 in the no-treatment group and -18 in the placebo group (p = .0003). There was a significant increase in CST in the placebo group compared with no treatment (p = .027). Conclusions: The results demonstrate that placebo treatment has significant antitussive activity. This placebo effect may be related to generation of central neurotransmitters such as endogenous opioids. CF = cough frequency; CST = cough suppression time.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
Publisher: American Psychosomatic Society
ISSN: 0033-3174
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:01

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