Thursday 6 October 2022 11:07 AM Drug could be a 'game-changer' for millions with chronic coughs trends now
Professor Surinder Birring, a respiratory medicine expert at King's College Hospital, hailed gefapixant as a 'gamechanger' for chronic cough sufferers
A new drug could be a 'gamechanger' for millions of people around the world who cough constantly throughout the day, researchers claim.
British scientists have found gefapixant cuts coughing fits by 60 per cent, improves sufferers' sleep and reduces chest pain.
The pill, taken twice a day, would be the first new cough treatment in 50 years, if it's approved.
Gefapixant, made by Merck and sold under the brand name Lyfnua, has already been given the green light for use in Switzerland and Japan.
But it has yet to be accepted by regulators in Britain or the US.
Merck's application for approval is still being examined by America's Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Watchdogs asked for more information on its effectiveness in January.
MailOnline has approached the FDA's UK equivalent, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), for an update on its status in Britain.
Researchers hope the latest trial results could pave the way to it being dished out in both countries.
Professor Surinder Birring, a respiratory medicine expert at King's College Hospital and one of the lead authors, hailed the drug as 'good news' for sufferers.
British scientists have found gefapixant cuts coughing fits by 60 per cent, improves sufferers' sleep and reduces chest pain
Gefapixant has been approved and is already in use in Switzerland and Japan. It is made by Merck and sold under the name Lynfua for ¥203.20 (£1.24) per tablet in the east Asian country, under its subsidised national insurance system
The drug, taken in pill form, works by blocking the throat nerve which triggers the cough reflex.
Most people who have unexplained coughs are thought to have a hypersensitive cough nerve, meaning they hack and cough at the slightest irritation.
At the moment the only treatments are cough syrups, which ease the discomfort in the throat, or powerful painkillers such as codeine, which come with severe