Hydrocodone for cough in advanced cancer

Jade Homsi, Declan Walsh, Kristine A. Nelson, Susan B. Legrand, Mellar Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Cough is a common symptom in advanced cancer. Hydrocodone is the antitussive of choice in our palliative medicine inpatient unit. We reviewed the pharmacy records for the use of hydrocodone for all cancer admissions to our unit from May 1996 to December 1998. Median treatment duration with hydrocodone was three days (range 1-18). Median maximum daily dose was 15 mg (range 5-100), and median total dose during the hospital stay was 32 mg (range 5-455). Lung cancer as a primary cancer site was strongly related to the use of hydrocodone. The highest median duration of treatment (five days) was for esophageal cancer and the highest median maximum daily dose (35 mg) and total dose (75 mg) were for treating kidney cancer. This retrospective review provides information regarding the use of hydrocodone on the palliative medicine unit of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Controlled trials are needed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of hydrocodone for cough in advanced cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-346
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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