Prostaglandins (PG) have been suggested to play a role in the genesis of cough induced by angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE-I) and that inhibition of PG synthesis can reduce or abolish the incidence of this side effect. Moreover, experimental and clinical data suggest that nifedipine, a dihydropyridine Ca antagonist, can inhibit PG synthesis. Therefore, we wished to determine whether nifedipine can reduce cough induced by ACE-I as compared with indomethacin, a known inhibitor of PG synthesis. Fourteen hypertensive patients who developed cough during captopril chronic therapy randomly received slow-release nifedipine 20 mg twice daily (b.i.d.), indomethacin 50 mg b.i.d., and placebo b.i.d. for 1 week in a double-blind, cross-over design. At the end of each treatment phase, cough was evaluated by a self-administered questionnaire containing an ordinal scale for daily cough intensity and frequency. Indomethacin abolished or markedly reduced cough induced by ACE-I, whereas nifedipine reduced it but to a lesser degree. These findings suggest that PG can play a role in cough caused by ACE-I, and a dihydropyridine Ca antagonist can reduce the occurrence of this side effect.