Antitussive drugs are used to suppress coughing by reducing the activity of cough and providing relief from dry cough. There are different types of antitussive agents used including centrally acting antitussives which consist of opioid derivatives, narcotics, non-opioids, and others. Locally acting antitussive agents comprise local anesthetics. Cough is an important protective reflex symptom in health, but when persistent for a long time, individuals have to seek medical attention. Around 40% of the world’s population suffer from cough at a given time. Upper respiratory tract infection is the most common cause of cough, and cough due to pulmonary disorders such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and lung cancer are also common. Antitussive drugs are administered orally in the form of tablets, syrups, and vapor.
A large portion of the population is able to buy antitussive drugs over-the-counter (OTC) for personal use and for their children. The efficacy of most antitussive drugs, particularly those used for upper respiratory tract infection, has been in question. The most commonly used antitussive drug is dextromethorphan which has been available over-the-counter in the U.S. since 1958. The rise in incidence of accidental overdose and abuse of antitussive drugs such as dextromethorphan has led to increase in study of efficacy and safety of antitussive drugs, particularly in children. Acute overdose of antitussive drug combination containing dextromethorphan have resulted in behavioral disturbances and respiratory depression.
Antitussive drugs such as mucolytics are administered through inhalation which helps to liquefy mucus in the respiratory tract. These antitussive drugs are generally inhaled by using nebulizer or directly instilled into the respiratory tract. The agent to be used as mucolytic antitussive drug is sodium chloride acetylcysteine. A popular strategy used to treat multiple symptoms in acute viral upper respiratory tract infection has been to use combination of active antitussive drug ingredients. For instance, the use of paracetamol with an antitussive drug for treating cough and headache has been proven useful.
Growing awareness, rising prevalence of respiratory disorders, increasing geriatric population, rising pollution, and significant government initiatives to promote research related to the study of antitussive drugs and its use to control coughing is expected to drive the antitussive drugs market during the forecast period. Drug abuse, lack of pharmacokinetic studies of antitussive drug therapy in children, stringent regulatory reforms in drug development, risk factors associated with antitussive drug such dizziness, gastrointestinal disturbances, light headedness, rashes, and headache are likely to restrain the antitussive drugs market during the forecast period.
Geographically, the global antitussive drugs market has been segmented into five key regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Middle East & Africa. North America leads the global antitussive drugs market largely because of increasing population, rising patient pool, and growing research activity. North America is closely followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. Asia Pacific is an emerging market for antitussive drugs because of increasing health care expenditure, growing pollution, and rising demand.
Key players in the global antitussive drugs market are Toray Industries, Zoetus, Pfizer, Novartis AG, Merck & Co., Sanofi, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Alkem Laboratories, Zydus Cadila, AstraZeneca, Cipla, and Johnson & Johnson, among others.