HEALTH Allergic Rhinitis Treatment is Found Ineffective for Chronic Cough 2023.12.21

▲ (from the left) Professor Woo-Jung Song and Professor Ji-Hyang Lee 


According to recent research results, bepotastine, a second-generation antihistamine, commonly used for treating allergic rhinitis-associated cough, were found ineffective.


A team of Professor Woo-Jung Song and Professor Ji-Hyang Lee of the Division of Allergy conducted a study on 49 outpatients with a cough persisting for more than three weeks due to allergic rhinitis from October 2021 to September 2022. The patients were randomized to receive either bepotastine (25 patients) or a placebo (24 patients) for two weeks. The Leicester Cough Questionnaire (LCQ), which measures cough-specific quality of life, was administered before and after treatment. The bepotastine group’s score increased by 3.45 points, and the placebo group’s increased by 3.04 points, demonstrating no significant difference between the two groups. Also, the percentage of patients with a substantial increase by more than 5 points in their LCQ score was 36% in the bepotastine group and 32% in the placebo group.


In addition, the research team measured the severity of cough and foreign body sensation in the throat using the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), where patients rate their symptoms on a 100-millimeter horizontal line. While the results showed improved symptoms in both groups, no statistically significant difference was displayed in the degree of improvement. On average, VAS scores for cough severity decreased by 31 points in the bepotastine group and 25 points in the placebo group. VAS scores for foreign body sensation in the throat also decreased by 28 points and 27 points on average in the bepotastine and placebo groups, respectively.


Professor Woo-Jung Song said, “The research results are expected to reduce unnecessary medication use in patients with chronic cough and be reflected in future revisions of cough treatment guidelines.”


The findings were recently published in the ‘European Respiratory Journal Open Research,’ the European Respiratory Society’s online academic journal.