Cough is a sudden and commonly repeatedly occurring voluntary or involuntary reflex to clear any foreign material from the lungs or upper respiratory tract. Frequent coughing is often a symptom for various respiratory diseases, viral and bacterial infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), allergy and cancer. Incessant coughing by a host helps the bacteria and the viruses to benefit progressively in spreading the disease to new hosts.
A cough lasting for less than three weeks is an acute cough, while a cough lasting from three to eight weeks but improving by the end of that period, is a subacute cough. A consistent cough that lasts more than eight weeks is a chronic cough. When a host coughs up blood it is known as barking cough. Infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia can cause acute cough or a chronic cough.
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A respiratory tract infection (cold or flu) is the most common cause of a cough while smoking being the second most common cause while Asthma is the most common cause of coughing in children. Some medications rarely as a side effect cause coughing among the hosts consuming such medication. Zestril and Vasotec, common brands of Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, commonly used to treat high blood pressure and heart conditions, often cause coughing. Though, the coughing eventually stops when the medication is discontinued. While chronic coughing is not a disease in itself, but rather a system of an underlying condition, treatment is considered in light of other consequences.
Drinking lots of water, inhaling steam and using cough lozenges are also advised to treat a chronic cough. If cough is caused by bacteria, oral antibiotics are likely to be prescribed. Depending on the symptoms specific cough suppressant or cough expectorant is usually prescribed. Expectorants function by thinning mucous which causes congestion in the respiratory tract, while suppressants block body’s reflex which causes coughing. Long term prolonged use of narcotic drugs for treatment of cough may make patients habitual to these drugs.
Narcotic antitussives such as codeine, dihydrocodeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone. Tussiden, Zutripro, Robitussin-AC, Duraganidin, Guaifenesin, Cheratussin, and Hydrostat among others are some brands prescribed for cough treatment. As narcotic drugs target the nervous system of the body and may have serious side effects, these are usually not prescribed to children. In spite of such warnings, physicians are found prescribing narcotic preparations to treat cough to children below the age of 10 years. According to an article published in CNN Health in April 2014, around eight billion prescriptions of codeine are written each year in the U.S. alone.
Narcotics may cause side effects such as rashes, vomiting, constipation and allergy. The market for narcotic drugs for cough treatment is a much matured market, with a strong generic drugs base. Wide prevalence and ample supply has made the market commoditized and highly competitive. Higher prevalence of diseases and allergies due to widespread unhygienic conditions coupled with a strong market base for generics, has made India with a soaring population of 1,250 Mn, a prime focus for the market.
Franklin Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Lyka Hetero Healthcare Limited, Ciron Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd., Pans Laboratories, Klar Sehen Pvt. Ltd., Biomedica International, Synokem Pharmaceuticals Ltd. are some of the key players in the market.
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Last updated on: 28/09/2016
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