Cough in Children: Current Approaches to the Treatment

O.O. Rechkina


Introduction. Cough is one of the most common symptoms in the practice of doctors of various specialties, including pediatricians. Cough treatment should be started with the identification of its cause and correct diagnosis. Most often, cough in children is due to the increased viscosity of bronchial secretions, i.e. violation of sputum transport in the bronchial tree, and insufficient activity of ciliated epithelium. The main objective of the treatment of productive cough is dilution of sputum, bronchial secretion and excretion, thus necessitating the administration of mucolytics. Currently, one of the most famous mucolytics is acetylcysteine, cysteine amino acid product, such as ACC®. However, today the question of ACC® (acetylcysteine) application in infants and young children is still debatable. This article presents a study whose objective was to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy and tolerability of ACC® (20 mg/ml solution) in the treatment of bronchopulmonary diseases in children aged 2 to 6 years. Materials and methods. The study involved 60 children with acute tracheitis, simple bronchitis, acute obstructive bronchitis, recurrent bronchitis in the acute phase, community-acquired pneumonia, asthma exacerbation, cystic fibrosis. Patients of the main groups (n = 40) received ACC® (20 mg/ml solution) at the age-specific dosage 3 times a day in combined treatment. Therapy of patients in the control group (n = 20) was conducted without ACC®. Results. During follow-up, patients who received ACC® had significant positive changes in the nature of cough, sputum viscosity and its amount as opposed to a comparison group of patients. Complete disappearance of cough was achieved on day 5–8 from the beginning of treatment, while in the control group patients, this time was longer. The evaluation of the effectiveness of the study drug showed that very good efficacy was achieved in 75 % of patients and good — in 20 %, and among patients who received other mucolytic agents — in 50 and 30 %, respectively. Discussion. The findings suggest that the use of ACC® (acetylcysteine) in the combination treatment of children with bronchopulmonary pathology enables to make dry cough wet and productive. Unlike other expectorants, ACC® (acetylcysteine) has a more pronounced and rapid mucolytic effect with good tolerability. Conclusions. Mucolytic agent ACC® can be recommended as a drug of choice in the treatment of acute tracheitis and bronchitis, pneumonia, cystic fibrosis from the first days of the disease in children aged 2 years and more both in the hospital and in an outpatient setting. Acetylcysteine should be administered with caution to the patients with bronchial asthma.


cough; children; bronchopulmonary diseases; sputum; acetylcysteine


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