Chronic cough is defined as a cough lasting longer than eight weeks. When the cause of chronic cough cannot be identified or the cough persists despite optimal treatment of any associated condition, the condition is referred to as refractory chronic cough.1,2 Refractory chronic cough is a frequent, yet often under-recognized, medical condition that has significant physical, social, and psychological consequences on one’s quality of life.3 There are currently no approved treatments for this condition in the United States, European Union or the United Kingdom.
Refractory chronic cough can be triggered by innocuous everyday activities such as talking, laughing, eating, or cold air. Sometimes, refractory chronic cough may have no apparent trigger. Patients suffering from this condition also say that they find it difficult to control their own cough; once it starts, it cannot be stopped.3 Individuals with refractory chronic cough may face a wide range of secondary symptoms that can vary in frequency and severity.9,10 This condition can be disruptive to a person’s life, affecting not only the individual’s physical, psychological, and social wellbeing, but also their families and communities.
After years of cycling between different specialists as well as multiple medical tests and treatments without cough resolution, individuals with refractory chronic cough may be forced to adjust to the limits placed on their lives.
New treatment options that not only decrease cough frequency, but also improve a patient’s welfare are much needed and would be welcomed in the refractory chronic cough community.
1. Irwin et al. (2018) CHEST 153 (1): 196-209. 2. Morice et al. (2020) Eur Respir J 2;55(1):1901136. 3. Chung et al. (2022) Nat Rev Dis Primers 8(1):45. 4. Colak et al. (2017) CHEST 152(3):563-573. 5. Meltzer et al. (2021) J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 9(11) :4037-4044.e2. 6. Song et al. (2015) Eur Respir J 45(5):1479-81.˛7. Company Sponsored Market Research 8. Morice et al. (2014) Eur Respir J 44(5):1149-55. 9. French et al. (2017) CHEST 152(3):547-562. 10. Kuzniar et al. (2007) Mayo Clin Proc 82(1):56-60.