Treatment of chronic, refractory cough with baclofen

Respiration. 1998;65(1):86-8. doi: 10.1159/000029232.


Chronic, nonproductive cough may result from enhanced sensitivity of the cough reflex. Often, this debilitating symptom is refractory to standard antitussive therapy. Baclofen, an agonist of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), has been shown, in animals, to have antitussive activity via a central mechanism. Recently, in normal subjects, we have demonstrated the ability of baclofen to inhibit capsaicin-induced cough, as well as cough due to angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Herein, we describe two patients with chronic, refractory cough who obtained symptomatic improvement after a 14-day course of low-dose, oral baclofen, administered in a double-blind, placebo-controlled manner. In addition, both subjects demonstrated significant increases in cough threshold to inhaled capsaicin after treatment with baclofen.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Baclofen / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchial Provocation Tests
  • Capsaicin
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cough / diagnosis
  • Cough / drug therapy*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • GABA Agonists / therapeutic use*
  • Humans


  • GABA Agonists
  • Baclofen
  • Capsaicin