The role of inhaled steroids in patients with chronic respiratory diseases is a matter of debate due to the potential effect on the development and prognosis of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). We assessed whether treatment with inhaled steroids in patients with chronic bronchitis, COPD or asthma and CAP may affect early outcome of the acute pneumonic episode.
Dextromethorphan (3-methoxy-N-methylmorphinan), also known as “DXM” and “the poor man’s PCP,” is a synthetically produced drug that is available in more than 140 over-the-counter cough and cold preparations. Dextromethorphan (DXM) has overtaken codeine as the most widely used cough suppressant due to its availability, efficacy, and safety profile at directed doses. However, DXM is subject to abuse. When consumed at inappropriately high doses (over 1500 mg/day), DXM can induce a state of psychosis characterized by Phencyclidine (PCP)-like psychological symptoms, including delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. We report a noteworthy case of severe dextromethorphan use disorder with dextromethorphan-induced psychotic disorder in a 40-year-old Caucasian female, whose symptoms remitted only following treatment with a combination of an antipsychotic and mood stabilizer. While some states have begun to limit the quantity of DXM sold or restrict sales to individuals over 18-years of age, there is currently no federal ban or restriction on DXM. Abuse of DXM, a readily available and typically inexpensive agent that is not detected on a standard urine drug screen, may be an under-recognized cause of substance-induced psychosis. It is imperative that clinicians are aware of the potential psychiatric sequelae of recreational DXM use.
This article focuses on recent data which highlight the clinical settings in which exhaled nitric oxide (F(E)NO) is potentially helpful, or not, as a clinical tool. It is becoming clearer that, selectively applied, F(E)NO measurements can provide reliable clinical guidance, particularly when values are low. Such values are associated with high negative predictive values (>90%). Increased F(E)NO levels are associated with much more modest positive predictive values (75%-85%) and these are less reliable. These general principles apply when diagnosing steroid responsiveness in relation to asthma, chronic cough, and COPD. Although randomised trials do not support routine use of exhaled NO measurements in uncomplicated bronchial asthma, there is evidence that in patients with difficult asthma, or asthma associated with pregnancy, F(E)NO enhances overall management, and the decision to commence or increase inhaled steroid therapy (yes/no) may be made more accurately. Exhaled NO is potentially relevant in the assessment of occupational asthma (serial measurements) and also in diagnosing bronchiolitis obliterans in lung transplant patients.
The examination of cough reflex sensitivity through inhalational challenge can be utilised to demonstrate pharmacological end points. Here we compare the effect of butamirate, dextromethorphan and placebo on capsaicin-induced cough in healthy volunteers.
Lung hernias are rare and their pathogenesis is few described. They are defined as the protrusion of lung parenchyma through the chest wall: intercostal space, inter-costo-clavicular, supra-clavicular or diaphragmatic hiatus. Lung hernias are classically divided into congenital and acquired hernias. Those are usually post-traumatic or post-surgical but can be provoked by cough. Clinical diagnosis is often evident but is confirmed by chest radiograph and especially computed tomography. Major risks are lung incarceration and necrosis but also ventilatory distress due to paradoxical respiration, in case of large defect. Treatment is first and foremost surgical but debated and should consider the localization, the size, the length of evolution and the possible infectious context. We report the case of a right basi-thoracic lung hernia induced by a cough fit, in a patient with chronic bronchitis.
Dextromethorphan (DXM) in combination with antihistamines and/or pseudoephedrine is widely available as an over-the-counter remedy commonly used for relief of colds and cough. In supratherapeutic amounts, DXM can be extremely activating. These cough preparations have been adopted by many young users of recreational drugs for their psychoactive effects. When used in amounts exceeding those recommended, this practice, known as “robotripping,” may result in a manic toxidrome of psychomotor agitation, hostility, grandiose behavior, hallucinations, paranoia, and panic. A case illustration of this phenomenon is described and implications of this phenomenon discussed. There are few reports associating DXM use with bipolar symptomatology.
Associations of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) with extraesophageal manifestations, such as chronic cough, asthma, and laryngitis, are reported frequently, and there is a strong evidence of biological plausibility in support of this relationship. On the other hand, extraesophageal reflux disease (EERD) is usually multifactorial in nature with reflux being just one of the several potential contributing cofactors. Moreover, the accuracy of currently available diagnostic tests for EERD is suboptimal, and therefore the causal relationship between GERD and EERD remains far from being conclusively proven. In addition, there is a general paucity of data supporting a beneficial effect of anti-reflux treatments on symptoms of patients with suspected EERD. Therefore, diagnostic as well as therapeutic management of EERD remains largely empirical. Current guidelines suggest an initial empiric trial of proton pump inhibitors in patients without alarm features, who present also typical GERD symptoms. For those patients who improve with PPIs, GERD is presumed to be the etiology. In patients with refractory reflux, combined impedance/pH monitoring might provide the single best strategy for evaluating reflux symptoms. In this context, as symptoms ascribable to GERD may depend on other causes, investigations that excludes GERD can help to redirect the diagnostic and treatment efforts to other pathological conditions. The present review intends to discuss the current state of knowledge regarding the challenging diagnostic and therapeutic management of patients with suspected EERD, emphasizing the points of strengths and limitations of currently available diagnostic options, and to provide an update on major diagnostic innovations in this area.
Bronchiectasis is characterised by chronic cough, sputum production, and recurrent chest infections. Pathogenesis is poorly understood, but excess neutrophilic airway inflammation is seen. Accumulating evidence suggests that statins have pleiotropic effects; therefore, these drugs could be a potential anti-inflammatory treatment for patients with bronchiectasis. We did a proof-of-concept randomised controlled trial to establish if atorvastatin could reduce cough in patients with bronchiectasis.
The effectiveness of recommended measures, such as “cover your mouth when coughing”, in disrupting the chain of transmission of infectious respiratory diseases (IRD) has been questioned. The objective of the current study was to determine the effectiveness of simple primary respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette maneuvers in blocking droplets expelled as aerosol during coughing.
Chronic cough is common in the community and can cause significant morbidity. It is not clear how closely treatment guidelines are used in general practice, or how often specialist referral is indicated. We aimed to assess the management of chronic cough in primary care before referral to a cough clinic, and to assess the outcome of managing chronic cough with an approach of simple investigation and empirical treatment trials. Data were extracted from the records of all patients attending a district general hospital respiratory clinic over a two-year period with isolated chronic cough lasting ⩾8 weeks. The clinic assessed symptoms with a cough-severity visual analogue scale and the Leicester Cough Questionnaire. Among 266 patients, the most frequent diagnoses were asthma (29%), gastro-oesophageal reflux (22%) and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor use (14%). In all, 12% had unexplained chronic cough. Common diagnoses had often not been excluded in primary care: only 21% had undergone spirometry, 86% had undergone chest radiography and attempts to exclude asthma with corticosteroids had been made only in 39%. In the clinic few investigations were conducted that were not available in primary care. Substantial improvements in symptoms occurred with a median (interquartile range) total of 2 (2-3) clinic visits. We estimated that 87% of patients could have been managed solely in primary care; we did not identify distinguishing characteristics among this group. Most cases of chronic cough referred to secondary care could be managed with a simple and systematic approach, which is potentially transferrable to a community setting.