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Editor's Correspondence
December 7/21, 1998

Cost-Conscious Cough Control

Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(22):2513. doi:

The study "Impact of Chronic Cough on Quality of Life," by French et al1 in the August 10/24, 1998, issue of the ARCHIVES is a welcome addition to a growing trend of taking into consideration things that bother people and not just things that might kill them anytime soon. The chief complaint (eg, cough) is paramount to the patient; but after serious causes have been eliminated, too many physicians lose interest and forget to treat the symptom adequately, as the authors note. Obviously, specific diseases should be treated specifically whenever possible, but what about those few (but not rare) patients who continue to hack after treatment, or the lingering cough after a viral upper respiratory tract infection (other causes having been excluded)? They want a simple cough suppressant, which brings me to the main point of this letter.