The National Institutes of Health says it’s looking into whether the widespread use of the common cough-cough drug, Pristiq, is associated with a higher risk of serious respiratory complications.
The National Institutes for Health (NIH) announced on Wednesday that it will investigate whether Pristiquis is associated in part with respiratory complications, including severe bronchitis, in people with COPD, the leading cause of preventable death.
Among the most common respiratory complications linked to the cough-related disease, COPD is the fifth leading cause in the U.S. and the second-leading cause in developed nations, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Researchers at the NIH said Pristix is used by about 3.4 million people nationwide, and that about 1 in 5 patients who get it get serious pneumonia.
NIH has said Praliq, which costs $4.99 a pill, is effective for treating coughs, but that the benefits are limited.
Some researchers are recommending that people use cough medicine, which includes cough suppressants like cough drops and other nasal sprays, instead.
But many people still have no way to prevent coughs.
It was announced that NIH will be partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to evaluate the effectiveness of Pristiqs cough suppressant, or COVID-19, and will study COVID’s effects on patients.
According to the NIH, the NIH will provide up-to-date information on the effectiveness and safety of Praliquis.
This article was updated to include a statement from the National Institutes on Wednesday.
More from The Hill: