Which medications are used in the treatment of pertussis (whooping cough)?

Updated: May 02, 2019
  • Author: Joseph J Bocka, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

Antimicrobial agents given during the catarrhal phase may ameliorate the disease. Once cough is established, antimicrobial agents may not alter the course of the illness but are still recommended to limit the spread of disease.

Pertussis-specific immunoglobulin is an investigational product that may be effective in decreasing paroxysms of cough, although it requires further evaluation.

The use of corticosteroids, albuterol, and other beta2-adrenergic agents for the treatment of pertussis is not supported by controlled, prospective data.


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