Post-viral cough

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A post-viral cough is a lingering cough that follows a viral respiratory tract infection, such as a common cold or flu and lasting up to eight weeks. Post-viral cough is a clinically recognized condition represented within the European medical literature.[1][2][3] Patients usually experience repeated episodes of post-viral cough. The heightened sensitivity in the respiratory tract is demonstrated by inhalation cough challenge.[4]


One possible cause for post-viral cough is that the receptors that are responsible for stimulating the cough during the respiratory tract infection are up-regulated by respiratory tract infection and continue to stimulate even after the virus has disappeared.[citation needed]


Post-viral cough can be resistant to treatment. Post-viral cough usually goes away on its own; however, cough suppressants containing codeine may be prescribed. A study has claimed theobromine in dark chocolate is more effective.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kastelik JA, Aziz I, Ojoo JC, Thompson RH, Redington AE, Morice AH (February 2005). "Investigation and management of chronic cough using a probability-based algorithm". Eur. Respir. J. 25 (2): 235–43. doi:10.1183/09031936.05.00140803. PMID 15684286. 
  2. ^ Chung KF, Lalloo UG (October 1996). "Diagnosis and management of chronic persistent dry cough". Postgrad Med J. 72 (852): 594–8. doi:10.1136/pgmj.72.852.594. PMC 2398587Freely accessible. PMID 8977940. 
  3. ^ Holmes PW, Barter CE, Pierce RJ (September 1992). "Chronic persistent cough: use of ipratropium bromide in undiagnosed cases following upper respiratory tract infection". Respir Med. 86 (5): 425–9. doi:10.1016/S0954-6111(06)80010-7. PMID 1462022. 
  4. ^ International Society for the Study of Cough
  5. ^ Usmani, Omar S.; Belvisi, Maria G.; Patel, Hema J.; Crispino, Natascia; Birrell Mark A.; Korbonits, Márta; Korbonits, Dezső; Barnes, Peter J. (November 17, 2004). "Theobromine inhibits sensory nerve activation and cough". FASEB Journal. 19 (2): 231–3. doi:10.1096/fj.04-1990fje. PMID 15548587. Retrieved 2008-07-04. The present study demonstrates that theobromine, a methylxanthine derivative present in cocoa, effectively inhibits citric acid-induced cough in guinea-pigs in vivo. Furthermore, in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study in man, theobromine suppresses capsaicin-induced cough with no adverse effects. We also demonstrate that theobromine directly inhibits capsaicin-induced sensory nerve depolarization of guinea-pig and human vagus nerve suggestive of an inhibitory effect on afferent nerve activation.