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Indexed/Abstracted in: Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,236
Online ISSN 1827-1669
Zanasi A. 1, Lecchi M. 2, Mazzolini M. 3, Mastroroberto M. 4, Nardi E. 4, Morselli-Labate A. M. 4
1 Italian Association for Cough Study, Bologna, Italy;
2 Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milan Bicocca, Milan, Italy;
3 Department of Respiratory Medicine and Intensive Care Unit Sant’Orsola Malpighi Hospital,
Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy;
4 Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
AIM: Since the efficacy of antibiotics in the management of cough from upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) is unclear, we conducted an observational study to evaluate the efficacy of antibiotic compared to symptomatic treatment in adults with productive cough from URTI in a real life setting.
METHODS: One-hundred and 50 subjects presenting to five general practice ambulatories with productive cough due to URTI were included in the study. According to the physician judgment, patients were treated with either oral antibiotics (group A, 50 patients), a mucoactive syrup (sobrerol: group S, 50 patients) as symptomatic treatment, or both sobrerol and oral antibiotics (group SA, 50 patients). Cough severity was assessed daily with a diary, by means of a validated verbal category-descriptive (VCD) Scale.
RESULTS: In every treatment group cough severity decreased over time (P<0.001); however, during the first week of treatment patients in groups S and SA experienced significantly lower VCD score values in comparison to Group A (P=0.045 and P=0.010, respectively). On the other hand, the VCD score was never significantly different between the two groups that received symptomatic treatment at any of the 4 weeks of the study, suggesting that the effect observed was due to the action of the mucoactive syrup.
CONCLUSION: Our data confirm the lack of efficacy of antibiotics in the management of productive cough in URTI and suggest that symptomatic treatment should be preferred to antibiotics in acute cough from URTI.