Chocolate could provide the key to tackling a persistent cough, researchers claim.
They are carrying out the final stages of clinical trials on a drug that contains theobromine, an ingredient naturally present in cocoa and chocolate. If the trials are successful, the drug could be on the market within two years.
More than seven million Britons suffer from a persistent cough, defined as one that lasts for more than two weeks. Some have asthma-like symptoms while others suffer from heartburn.
But most widely available cough products soothe the symptoms rather than deal with the cause, and have been criticised for side effects such as drowsiness.