The Expectorant Effect of Glyceryl Guaiacolate in Patients with Chronic Bronchitis

A Controlled in Vitro and in Vivo Study
  • S.R. Hirsch
    Reprint requests: Dr. Hirsch, Wood VA Hospital, Milwaukee 53193
    Associate in Research, Wood Veterans Administration Hospital; Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Presently at Wauwatosa, Wis.
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  • P.F. Viernes
    Fellow in Pulmonary Diseases, Wood Veterans Administration Hospital; Assistant Instructor in Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Presently at Wauwatosa, Wis.
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  • R.C. Kory
    Associate Chief of Staff and Chief, Pulmonary Function Laboratory, Wood Veterans Administration Hospital; Professor of Clinical Research, Medical College of Wisconsin. Presently at Veterans Administration Hospital, Tampa
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      Glyceryl guaiacolate (GG) is one of the most common expectorants given to patients with chronic bronchitis. In an in vitro study, GG was found to be no more effective than water in lowering the consistency (viscosity) of 27 sputum specimens obtained from various patients with chronic bronchitis. In a clinical study of 11 patients with chronic bronchitis, GG at dosage levels of 800 mg and 1,600 mg daily was no more effective than the placebo in lowering sputum consistency, increasing sputum volume, or improving ventilatory function. Finally, in a double-blind evaluation of ten patients over a 20-day period, the ease of expectoration with GG was no different than with a placebo. On the basis of these studies, GG appears to be ineffective as an expectorant in patients with chronic bronchitis.
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