Updated on 8/19/2019 :
In my clinical practice, I see many patients who have been suffering from long- term and persistent dry cough despite extensive work ups.
One of the most overseen cause of long-term cough is prescription medications.
It’s crucial that you as a patient are 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.
Here are common medications that could cause coughing.
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Heart medications that could cause coughing
Lisinopril, carvedilol and simvastatin are heart medications that could cause chronic coughing.
Lisinopril is one of most commonly prescribed high blood pressure medication 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 this medication could develop 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 take this drug on regular basis.
About 9% of the population on simvastatin could suffer from dry cough.
Other familiar medications that could cause dry cough
Fluticasone nasal steroid spray
Most of you probably know fluticasone as the main nasal steroid spray frequently prescribed for allergic induced nasal inflammation.
About 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
Consumption of risedronate or Actonel can result in flu-like symptoms, nasal inflammation, sore throat and bronchitis in about 10% of the population.
Actonel belongs to bisphosphonates 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 commonly than Actonel.
There is no question that both of the above medications could cause inflammation of the stomach and worsening of acid reflux disease, which could also result in dry cough in some patients.
Levetiracetam or keppra is one of the main seizure medications.
Taking this medication could result in cough symptoms in up to 11% of population on this treatment.
It can cause inflammation of the nose and sore throat in up to 14% of the patients as well.
Persistent dry cough-To the point
As you can see, several frequently prescribed medications could cause chronic (long-term) coughing.
You should know that if your cough last 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.
I’ll try to keep the above list up-to-date. Comment down below if you’ve experienced coughing with any other medications so that I can add them to the list for others to reference.
Tell me about your experiences in order to initiate further research on your suggestion.