Updated on 8/19/2019 :
I see many patients who have suffered from long- term and a persistent dry cough despite extensive workups.
One of the most overseen causes of long-term cough is prescription medications.
Indeed, you must be aware of the most important side effects of the medications you’re taking.
Often knowing the interactions between various medications you take, can make a significant difference in your health and well-being.
Common medications that could cause coughing.
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Heart meds that could cause a persistent dry cough
Lisinopril, carvedilol, and simvastatin are heart medications that could cause chronic coughing.
The above medication is one of the most commonly prescribed high blood pressure medications belonging to Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.
There are other ACE inhibitors such as enalapril, quinapril, ramipril, and benazepril.
Lisinopril can cause a dry cough and congestion of the throat, days and sometimes years after starting the medication in about 3 to 20% of the population.
Most patients get the feeling that they’ve to clear their throat all the time. Therefore, most people confuse these symptoms with seasonal allergy symptoms.
To find out whether lisinopril is the cause of the unexplained cough, physicians ask their patients to stop the medication for at least 4 weeks.
lisinopril induced cough could last for up to 6 months after stopping the medication.
Carvedilol is a beta-blocker.
This medication can help with lowering blood pressure and treating patients with weak heart muscle suffering from heart failure.
Carvedilol could reduce the probability of getting heart attacks in patients who already had one.
Around 8% of the patients on carvedilol could develop an unexplained cough.
This drug belongs to the famous statin family. Statins are cholesterol-lowering medications and could reduce the chance of dying from heart attack.
Simvastatin is one of the older cholesterol-lowering medications and millions of people regularly take this drug.
About 9% of the population on simvastatin could suffer from dry cough.
Other common medications that could cause dry cough
Fluticasone nasal steroid spray
You might know fluticasone as the main nasal steroid spray frequently prescribed for allergic induced nasal inflammation.
Approximately 4% of the population on this medication could present with cough symptoms including 3-7% with asthma symptoms and 1-3% with bronchitis and runny nose.
Fosamax and Actonel
Taking risedronate or Actonel can result in flu-like symptoms, nasal inflammation, sore throat, and bronchitis in about 10% of the population.
Actonel is a bisphosphonate and is mostly used to treat osteoporosis or weak/brittle bones.
Another famous bisphosphonate is alendronate or Fosamax.
Fosamax can cause flu-like symptoms but probably less than Actonel.
Both of the above medications could cause inflammation of the stomach and worsen the acid reflux disease, which could also result in dry cough.
Levetiracetam or Keppra is one of the main seizure medications.
Taking this medication could cause cough in up to 11% of the population.
It can cause inflammation of the nose, and sore throat in approximately 14% of the patients as well.
Persistent dry cough-Conclusion
As you see, several frequently prescribed medications could cause chronic (long-term) coughing.
Certainly, if your cough lasts longer than 3-4 weeks or you end up having recurrent unexplained coughing, and you’re on daily medications, then you should consider a possible association of the chronic cough, with your medications.
My goal is to keep the above list up-to-date. Comment down below if you’ve experienced coughing with any other medications. I’ll corroborate the reports I receive, and if confirmed we will update the current list.
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