The effect of inhaled prostaglandin (PG) F2 alpha on the response to the inhaled tussive agent capsaicin was investigated in normal subjects. Seven subjects inhaled three breaths of four doses of capsaicin (0.3, 0.6, 1.2, and 2.4 nmol) before and immediately after inhaling PGF2 alpha (0.1 mumol) or placebo (0.15M NaCl) on separate days. The numbers of capsaicin induced coughs were greater after PGF2 alpha (mean 42.3 coughs) than after 0.15M sodium chloride (30.1). Visual analogue scores (0-10 on a 10 cm continuous scale) showed that capsaicin was more irritant after PGF2 alpha than after saline. Total respiratory resistance (Rrs), measured by the forced oscillation technique, was unaltered throughout the study. A double blind, placebo controlled study of the effects of inhaled salbutamol (200 micrograms, 0.6 mumol) and ipratropium bromide (40 micrograms, 0.1 mumol) on cough induced by capsaicin (2.4 nmol) and by PGF2 alpha (0.1 mumol) and on PGF2 alpha augmented, capsaicin induced coughing was performed in seven subjects. Neither drug had any effect on capsaicin induced coughing. Salbutamol reduced coughing due to PGF2 alpha (mean 7.7 coughs after salbutamol, 9.3 after placebo) but ipratropium bromide did not (mean 6.9 coughs after ipratropium bromide, 6.6 after placebo). Salbutamol also inhibited the augmentation of the capsaicin induced cough that followed inhalation of PGF2 alpha (mean augmentation 1.9 coughs after salbutamol, 4.1 after placebo), whereas ipratropium bromide did not (augmentation 1.7 coughs after ipratropium bromide, 2.7 after placebo). No changes in Rrs were seen after PGF2 alpha or either drug. Thus salbutamol reduces PGF2 alpha induced cough and the augmentation of capsaicin induced cough that follows PGF2 alpha.
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