Practice Guidelines

ACCP Releases Guideline for the Treatment of Unexplained Chronic Cough


Am Fam Physician. 2016 Jun 1;93(11):950.

Key Points for Practice

• Unexplained chronic cough should be diagnosed if cough persists for longer than eight weeks with no etiology identified.

• Multimodality speech pathology therapy is recommended for adults with unexplained chronic cough.

• A trial of gabapentin may also be used to treat chronic cough

From the AFP Editors

Persistent cough with an unknown etiology is difficult to treat and can significantly affect quality of life. Although the evidence for the diagnosis and treatment of adults with unexplained chronic cough is limited, the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) has released guidelines based on the best available evidence. Further study is needed to establish universal terminology and the optimal method of investigation.



Coverage of guidelines from other organizations does not imply endorsement by AFP or the AAFP.

This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, Associate Deputy Editor.

A collection of Practice Guidelines published in AFP is available at


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May 1, 2017

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