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Table 1 Summary of evidence

From: Clinical expert guidelines for the management of cough in lung cancer: report of a UK task group on cough

  Disease group & number of trials Interventions with positive data Interventions with negative data
Overview of findings from systematic review in respiratory diseases [11]* 1. Asthma (cough often secondary outcome)
N = 23 trials, 1508 subjects
Steroids (particularly Beclomethasone-4 trials-and Budesonide-1 trial)
Disodium Cromoglycate-1 trialLodoxadine-1 trial
Nedocromil sodium-2 trials
Leukotriene receptor antagonists-2 trials
Th2 cytokine inhibitor-1 trial
Theophylline-1 trial
Nedocromil sodium-2 trials
  2. Chronic Bronchitis
N = 8 trials, 731 subjects
Epinastine-1 trial
Ipratropium bromide-1 trial
Theophylline-1 trial
Iodinised glycerol-2 trials
Low dose N-acetylcysteine-1 trial
Budenoside-1 trial
  3. COPD
N = 8 trials, 8013 subjects
Fenspiridine-1 trial
Fluticasone-1 trial
Formoterol-1 trial
Neltenexine-3 trials
Helicidine-1 trial
Oxtriphylline-1 trial
High dose N-acetylcysteine-1 trial
Salbutamol/Iprapropium bromide-1 trial
Iprapropium bromide-1 trial
Budenoside-1 trial
Codeine-1 trial
Nesosteine-1 trial
Oxitropium bromide-1 trial
  4. Reflux disease
N = 5 trials, 258 subjects
Lansoprazole-1 trial
Omeprazole-2 trials
Esoprazole-1 trial
Omeprazole-1 trial
  5. Idiopathic cough
N = 2 trials
Morphine-1 trial
Speech pathology training-1 trial
  6. Other respiratory illnesses Codeine-2 trials
Benzonatate being equivalent to Codeine-1 trial
Moguiesteine being equivalent to Dextromethophran-1 trial
Neltenexine-2 trials
Sinecod linctus (butamirate) with a similar effect to that of small dose of Codeine-1 trial
Overview of findings from Cochrane systematic review in cancer [12]** Lung cancer patients, N = 7 trials Brachytherapy in addition to EBRT resulted in higher improvements in cough at doses of 15 Gy in 3 fractions; 14-16 Gy in 2 fractions or 10 Gy in a single fraction  
  Lung cancer patients, N = 1 Photodynamic therapy (PDT) showing similar results to laser therapy; its role as main treatment option questionable.  
  Pharmacological treatments, N = 9 (4 with mixed sample of patients with respiratory illnesses including cancer. Results extrapolated for cancer patients only) Codeine 30 mg + Phenyltoloxamine 10 mg bd-1 trial
Dihydrocodeine-1 trial
Hydropropizine (= Levodropropizine)-1 trial
Levodropropizine equivalent to Dihydrocodeine-1 trial
A Morphine derivative equivalent to Codeine in capsules (unclear dose)
Sodium Cromoglycate 40 mg (2 puffs)
Butamirate linctus (overall no effect, but effective in cancer subsample)
Case studies and reviews Cancer patients, often with advanced disease Morphine, Methadone, Pholcodine, Quaifenesin, Hydromorphone (due to their antitussive activity) [review] [15]
Benzonatate for opioid-resistant cough [16]
Nebulized Morphine [17]
Nebulized Lidocaine [18]
Hydrocodone (phase II trial) 10 mg/d in divided doses [37]
Experimental studies or studies in non-cancer patients   GABAB agonists (such as Baclofen) [7]
Dextromethorphan 10-20 mg/4-6 hrs better than Codeine 20 mg [13]
Moguestine 100 mg tid equivalent to Codeine 15-30 mg (non-cancer patients) [14]
Nebulised Lidocaine [19, 20, 38]
Levocloperastine (novel antitussive) [21]
Paroxetine (in concomitant pruritus and cough) [22]
Amitryptiline, Gabapentin, Carbamazepine (in chronic cough) [23]
Thalidomide [24]
  1. *Most of the therapeutic options here are not relevant to lung cancer-related cough, unless a relevant respiratory pathology is also present
  2. **Most studies received a '0' Jadad score representing studies with very low methodological quality.