Treatment of recalcitrant cough with baclofen

  • Paolo Agostinis |
  • Paola Bardus
  • Vito Di Piazza
  • Ferdinando Dassi
  • Nadia Durigon
  • Alfio Englaro
  • Patrizia Grillo
  • Euro Marchetti
  • Tiziano Petris
  • Enzo Sabatini


Background: Chronic dry cough is a debilitating symptom often refractory to standard antitussive therapy. It may result from increased sensitivity of the cough reflex. Baclofen, an agonist of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), has been shown, in animals, to have antitussive activity via a central mechanism. In normal subjects baclofen has been revealed ability to inhibit capsaicininduced cough and cough due to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. In addition, chronic therapy with baclofen has been shown to reduce cough reflex sensitivity in subjects with cervical spinal cord injury.
Clinical cases: We describe two patients with chronic refractory cough who obtained symptomatic improvement after oral baclofen administration. The antitussive effect of baclofen, usually used for treatment of spasticity associated with multiple sclerosis and spinal cord lesions, can be explained by central inhibition, but may also involve peripheral inhibitory mechanisms.


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Case Reports
Cough, Baclofen, GABA.
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How to Cite
Agostinis, P., Bardus, P., Di Piazza, V., Dassi, F., Durigon, N., Englaro, A., Grillo, P., Marchetti, E., Petris, T., & Sabatini, E. (2013). Treatment of recalcitrant cough with baclofen. Italian Journal of Medicine, 3(3), 172-174.