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Thalidomide inhibits the intractable cough of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  1. M R Horton,
  2. S K Danoff,
  3. N Lechtzin
  1. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Dr M R Horton, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1830 East Monument Street, Suite 500, Baltimore, MD 21212, USA; mhorton2{at}

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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive lung disorder of unknown aetiology that leads to death in the majority of patients within 3–5 years of diagnosis.1 One of the most prominent features of IPF is a persistent dry cough that affects 73–86% of patients.1 The aetiology of the cough is unknown but presumably linked to the lung fibrosis. Unfortunately, the cough is often disabling and resistant to traditional antitussive therapies.2

We present findings from a prospective cohort of 11 individuals with chronic cough caused by IPF who were enrolled in an open label phase II trial of thalidomide. Thalidomide was administered daily in 100–400 mg doses. Patients were followed …

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