Acute cough in children and adolescents: A systematic review and a practical algorithm by the Italian Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology

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Gian Luigi Marseglia
Sara Manti
Elena Chiappini
Ilaria Brambilla
Carlo Caffarelli
Mauro Calvani
Fabio Cardinale
Claudio Cravidi
Marzia Duse
Alberto Martelli
Domenico Minasi
Michele Miraglia del Giudice
Giovanni Pajno
Diego G. Peroni
Maria Angela Tosca
Amelia Licari
Giorgio Ciprandi


acute cough, acute cough relievers, algorithm, adolescents., children


The current systematic review presented and discussed the most recent studies on acute cough in pediatric age. After that, the Italian Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology elaborated a comprehensive algorithm to guide the primary care approach to pediatric patients, such as infants, children, and adolescents, with acute cough. An acute cough is usually consequent to upper respiratory tract infections and is self-resolving within a few weeks. However, an acute cough may be bothersome, and therefore remedies are requested, mainly by the parents. An acute cough may significantly affect the quality of life of patients and their family.
Several algorithms for the management of acute cough have been adopted and validated in clinical practice; however, unlike the latter, we developed an algorithm focused on pediatric age, and, also, in accordance to the Italian National Health System, which regularly follows the child from birth to all lifelong. Based on our findings, infants from 6 months, children, and adolescents with acute cough without cough pointers can be safely managed using well-known medications, preferably non-sedative agents, such as levodropropizine and/or natural compounds, including honey, glycerol, and herb-derived components.

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