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Lidocaine, a Non–selective Inhibitor of Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels, Blocks Chemically-Induced Cough in Awake Naïve Guinea Pigs

  • Simona Svajdova
  • Tomas Buday
  • Mariana BrozmanovaEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series


Pathological cough is an unwanted and debilitating symptom of a range of chronic respiratory diseases. Currently used antitussive therapies are ineffective and act largely through the central nervous system, having a number of dangerous adverse effects. There is an urgent need for new, better peripherally acting antitussive drugs with minimal adverse effects. Significant progress has recently been achieved in the understanding of voltage-gated sodium channels (NaVs), which points to the biological plausibility that blocking specific NaV sybtypes (NaV1.1 – NaV1.9) in the airway sensory nerves may lead to the inhibition of pathological coughing. In this study we investigated the effect of lidocaine, a non–selective NaVs blocker, on citric acid– and capsaicin–induced cough in the awake naïve guinea pig experimental model. We found that pre–inhalation followed by continuous inhalation of nebulized lidocaine (10 mM) during citric acid (0.8 M) cough challenge was effective in suppressing the cough response (number of coughs, median [IQR]) – (5 [3.8–6.3] pre–lidocaine vs. 1 [0.3–3.8] post–lidocaine; p = 0.002, n = 11). Likewise, lidocaine during capsaicin (50 μM) cough challenge reduced the number of coughs (6 [4.1–7.9] pre–lidocaine vs. 1 [0.5–1.5] post–lidocaine; p = 0.0005, n = 12). We conclude that nebulized lidocaine effectively blocks chemically induced cough. These findings lend support to the notion that NaVs may become a novel neural target in antitussive treatment.


Chemically-induced cough Capsaicin Citric acid Cough Guinea pig Lidocaine Voltage-gated sodium channels 



We acknowledge Mrs. Lenka Mazurova and Mrs. Kamila Strbova for technical assistance. This study was supported by VEGA No. 1/0020/19 and Biomed Martin grant ITMS: 26220220187.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.

Ethical Approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. The study was approved by Ethics Committee of Jessenius Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University, in Martin, Slovakia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simona Svajdova
    • 1
  • Tomas Buday
    • 1
  • Mariana Brozmanova
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pathophysiology, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin (JFM CU)Comenius University in BratislavaBratislavaSlovakia
  2. 2.Biomedical Center Martin, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin (JFM CU)Comenius University in BratislavaBratislavaSlovakia

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