Noscapine


Introduction

Noscapine is a benzylisoquinoline alkaloid from plants of the poppy family. It acts centrally as a cough suppressant. Unlike opioid antitussives, respiratory and CNS depression as well as physical dependence and addiction have not been reported with Noscapine. Moreover, no analgesic property has been considered for Noscopine.
Noscapine's antitussive effects appear to be primarily mediated by its σ–receptor agonist activity which results to depressing cough reflex by direct effect on the cough center in medulla.
Noscapine, and its synthetic derivatives called noscapinoids, are known to interact with microtubules and inhibit cancer cell proliferation and it is currently being investigated as an antitumor agent in animal models of several human cancers.
At very high doses it may cause polyploidy in animal cells by interfering with the spindles; at low doses, those relevant to medical uses, there seems to be a cut off and so it would be safe as used.

Indication

This agent is primarily used for its antitussive effects:
  • Irritant dry and allergic cough
  • Spasmodic cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Tracheitis
  • Viral infections of the upper respiratory tract
  • Pertussis (Whooping cough)

Pharmacokinetics



Pharmacodynamics

Contra-indications:

  • Intolerance to Noscapine
  • Pregnancy

Drug interactions:

  • Noscapine can increase the effects of centrally sedating substances such as alcohol and hypnotics.
  • The drug should not be taken with any MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), as unknown and potentially fatal effects may occur.
  • Noscapine should not be taken in conjunction with warfarin as the anticoagulant effects of warfarin may be increased.

Side-effects:

  • Headache
  • Loss of coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hallucinations (auditory and visual)

Dosage:


Syrup: 100ml
Each 5ml contains:
Noscapine 7 mg
Glycyrrhizaglabra(licorice)root ext. 5mg