UCL News


Earn £10 by participating in a new cough medication study

22 October 2015

Andrew Watkinson a UCL School of Pharmacy PhD student is conducting a study investigating the effectiveness of a new cough medication delivered through an inhaler.

Earn £10 by participating in a new cough medication study

Results from this study have the potential to help those who suffer from chronic cough, leading to a better understanding of the nature of this symptom and improvements in treatment. Participants will be awarded £10 for taking part.

What does the study involve?

You will be randomised to receive a cough medication delivered through an inhaler or no medication.

To test how effective the new medication is compared to no medication, researchers will cause you to cough. This involves you breathing in water with a small amount of capsaicin in it (this is what makes chilli peppers hot). The solution is put into a nebuliser, which is normally used to deliver asthma medication in a vapour. This will allow you to breathe in the solution.

This way of causing you to cough has been used for the past 20 years. A review of 122 studies using this method has shown it is completely safe. Over the 20 years no serious harm to participants has happened. It may be slightly uncomfortable (like a tickly cough) but no long term irritation will occur.

Throughout the experiment you will be asked to complete questions about demographics, your experience with cough and cough medication, questions about the cough medication being tested and other factors including mood. You will also be asked to complete a short writing task (5 minutes).


The study will last about an hour and take place at The School of Pharmacy building, 29-39 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AX.

For a chance to earn £10 and be a part of this study, or if you have any further questions please email Andrew Watkinson.

This study is conducted by Andrew Watkinson as part of his PhD at the School of Pharmacy, UCL, supervised by Dr Sarah Chapman. The study has been approved by UCL research ethics committee, project ID Number: 4785/001. All data will be collected and stored in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Andrew Atkinson, PhD student
UCL School of Pharmacy