Global Antitussive Drugs Market Expected to Lead With Steady Growth Rate of 4.62%

30-Jun-2023 | Zion Market Research

The global antitussive drugs market size was worth around USD 1307.5 million in 2022 and is predicted to grow to around USD 1876.9 million by 2030 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of roughly 4.62% between 2023 and 2030.

Global Antitussive Drugs Market Size

Antitussive drugs are used to treat, suppress, or alleviate coughing which is a natural defense mechanism adopted by the body in case the airway registers the presence of foreign items such as pollutants, mucus, or irritants. They are commonly referred to as cough syrups. Such drugs are highly efficient in reducing the intensity and frequency of coughing thus providing relief to individuals from mild or severe cough-related symptoms. There are different types of antitussive drugs including opioid-based, non-opioid, and expectorants. The antitussive drugs market deals with the formulation, production, and distribution of cough syrups across domestic and international markets.

This review is based on a report by Zion Market Research, titled "Antitussive Drugs Market By Indication (Pain, Cold, Cough, And Others), By Drug Class (Peripherally Acting Drugs, Centrally Acting Drugs, And Others), By Drug (Dextromethorphan And Benzonatate), By Dosage Form (Tablets, Syrup, And Others), And By Region - Global And Regional Industry Overview, Market Intelligence, Comprehensive Analysis, Historical Data, And Forecasts 2023 – 2030"- Report at

The global antitussive drugs market is projected to grow due to increasing population which directly translates to more patients suffering from medical conditions that translate to coughing persistently. There are a wide range of reasons that can trigger respiratory conditions with varying intensity. For instance, smoking tobacco, infection, or breathing secondhand tobacco smoke, asbestos, or other air pollutants, are some examples of leading reasons. As the population rate increases combined with increasing air pollution levels, the demand rate for antitussive drugs is likely to generate a higher response.

In addition to this, rampant industrialization and urbanization which directly impact environmental pollution could also cause a higher prevalence of respiratory conditions thus leading to greater consumption of antitussive drugs. Production innovation is crucial to antitussive drug industry growth as pharmaceutical companies are working toward ensuring product safety. This can be witnessed in the introduction of new forms of cough syrups apart from traditional forms such as liquid. Moreover, growing emphasis on improved drug delivery systems and patient care is likely to work in favor of antitussive drug revenue.

The global antitussive drugs market may come across certain growth roadblocks due to intensifying regulations around the export and import of cough syrups. Factors such as growing incidents of export of contaminated syrups along with surging reported incidents related to cough syrup drug abuse among children are leading reasons for higher testing-related rules for antitussive drugs. Moreover, the limited effectiveness of these drugs especially in severe respiratory conditions is likely to cause higher reliance on other concrete methods of treatment.

The development of combination therapies could provide growth opportunities and the growing competition from generic medicines may challenge the market expansion.

The global antitussive drugs market is segmented based on indication, drug class, drug, dosage, and region.

Based on indication, the global market segments are pain, cold, cough, and others.

Based on drug class, the antitussive drugs industry is divided into peripherally acting drugs, centrally acting drugs, and others. The highest CAGR was observed in the centrally acting drugs segment in 2022. These syrups mainly work by targeting the cough center in the brain which results in suppressing the cough reflex. They directly target the CNS which assists in reducing coughing. They are mostly opioid-based and include medicines such as codeine, hydrocodone, and dextromethorphan. There is a significant market for peripherally acting drugs as well which work by targeting the cough receptors in the airways resulting in reduced sensitivity along with irritability of these receptors. Some examples of such medicines are benzonatate and levodropropizine. Several factors determine the drug class to be prescribed to the patient. As per the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) nearly 5% of children between 13 to 18 years abuse cough syrup.

Based on drug, the global market is segmented into Dextromethorphan and Benzonatate.

Based on dosage form, the antitussive drugs industry is segmented into tablets, syrups, and others. The highest CAGR was registered in the syrups segment in 2022 since cough syrups are the most preferred choice for antitussive medications driven by factors including ease of administration, especially for pediatric and elderly populations. Since syrups are in liquid form, they can be easily consumed. However, the market is growing in terms of segmentation depending on specific formulations, regional market preferences, and demographics. Adults preferring tablet forms generally lead to higher revenue in the tablets segment. There are other forms of these drugs such as lozenges, powders, and inhalers that cater to specific needs. Mayo Clinic recommends 5 to 15 mg of lozenge dosage form every 2 to 4 hours, for cough in patients over 12 years of age.

North America is expected to register the highest growth in the global antitussive drugs market driven by increasing awareness programs undertaken by government and healthcare agencies to promote safe use of antitussive drugs. Increasing approvals from the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) authority and higher expenditure on healthcare are leading reasons for regional growth. Europe is projected to generate considerable revenue driven by the growing geriatric population and increasing number of patients with respiratory conditions. In 2019, as reported by the European Commission, more than 4.3% of the European population over the age of 15 years suffered from some form of chronic lower respiratory disease apart from asthma. The Asia-Pacific region will see a better growth rate due to the intensive measures of the regional governments of China and India to their respective pharmaceutical sectors. India is currently the largest exporter of generic medicines.

Recent Developments:

  • In December 2022, the European Union (EU), following recommendations from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), banned the sale of cough-treating medicines containing pholcodine. It is generally used to produce cough syrups used during the treatment of dry cough in children
  • In March 2021, the US FDA accepted the New Drug Application (NDA) submitted by Merck in favor of its selective P2X3 receptor antagonist, gefapixant. The drug is used to treat unexplained chronic cough (UCC) or refractory chronic cough (RCC) in adults

Antitussive Drugs Market: Competitive Analysis

The global antitussive drugs market is led by players like:

  • Pfizer Inc.
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Sanofi S.A.
  • GlaxoSmithKline plc
  • Merck & Co. Inc.
  • Novartis International AG
  • AstraZeneca plc
  • Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH
  • Roche Holding AG
  • Bayer AG
  • Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
  • Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
  • Mylan N.V.
  • Cipla Ltd.
  • Reckitt Benckiser Group plc
  • Perrigo Company plc
  • Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
  • Lupin Limited
  • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
  • Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC
  • Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
  • Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd.,  Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd.
  • Glenmark
  • Wockhardt Ltd.
  • Alkem Laboratories Ltd.

The global antitussive drugs market is segmented as follows:

By Indication

  • Pain
  • Cold
  • Cough
  • Others

By Drug Class

  • Peripherally Acting Drugs
  • Centrally Acting Drugs
  • Others

By Drug

  • Dextromethorphan
  • Benzonatate

By Dosage Form

  • Tablets
  • Syrup
  • Others

By Region

  • North America
    • The U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • France 
    • The UK
    • Spain
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • Southeast Asia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East & Africa

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