To the Editor: We read the article by Gibson and colleagues on the assessment and management of cough1 with some concern, specifically regarding the authors’ classification of levels of evidence for current therapies for allergic rhinitis. We would agree that a trial of antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroids and allergen immunotherapy is unlikely to help non-specific cough in the absence of allergic rhinitis. This consensus should be distinguished from the beneficial impact of these modalities on symptoms of allergic rhinitis, for which the authors misquote their main source of information2 and suggest that evidence of benefit from these is “weak”. Although evidence of benefit from allergen avoidance to help manage allergic respiratory disease is controversial,3 a large number of double-blind placebo-controlled trials of all other modalities show Level I evidence of benefit and category A strength of recommendation specifically for treatment of allergic rhinitis, as recently reviewed2,4-6 — evidence consistent with “strong” recommendations using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) criteria.7 We do our patients and colleagues a disservice to suggest otherwise.
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