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August 15, 1966


JAMA. 1966;197(7):581-582. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110070105029

Assessment of the efficacy of cough medication is I usually based upon the reduction of the frequency of coughs. Until recently, however, no objective studies of coughing in children and their response to antitussive medication had been done. In 1964 a tape recorder system for documentation of cough frequency was introduced,1 and application of this technique to children is reported in the American Journal of Diseases of Children.2

Two antitussive agents and a placebo were compared in both inpatient and outpatient studies of children with cough as the primary complaint. Inpatients were selected from a hospital pediatric service and their coughs were recorded on a noiseactivated tape recorder. Coughs were counted as the tape was replayed. Control periods without medication were compared with periods following medication. Outpatients were selected from a private pediatric practice, and response to antitussive medication was determined subjectively by the parent. In both studies