Version 2024
No Valid Principal Dx

2024 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code R05.9

Cough, unspecified

ICD-10-CM Code:
Short Description:
Cough, unspecified
Is Billable?
Yes - Valid for Submission
Chronic Condition Indicator: [1]
Not chronic
Code Navigator:

Code Classification

  • Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified
    • Symptoms and signs involving the circulatory and respiratory systems

R05.9 is a billable diagnosis code used to specify a medical diagnosis of cough, unspecified. The code is valid during the current fiscal year for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions from October 01, 2023 through September 30, 2024.

Unspecified diagnosis codes like R05.9 are acceptable when clinical information is unknown or not available about a particular condition. Although a more specific code is preferable, unspecified codes should be used when such codes most accurately reflect what is known about a patient's condition. Specific diagnosis codes should not be used if not supported by the patient's medical record.

According to ICD-10-CM guidelines this code should not to be used as a principal diagnosis code when a related definitive diagnosis has been established.

Approximate Synonyms

The following clinical terms are approximate synonyms or lay terms that might be used to identify the correct diagnosis code:

  • Allergic cough
  • Barking cough
  • Bovine cough
  • Brassy cough
  • Clearing throat - hawking
  • Cough
  • Cough after eating
  • Cough at rest
  • Cough fracture of ribs
  • Cough on exercise
  • Cough suppression
  • Cough when swallowing
  • Cough with fever
  • Coughing ineffective
  • Croupy cough
  • Decreased coughing
  • Dry cough
  • Early morning cough
  • Effective cough
  • Evening cough
  • Hacking cough
  • Increasing frequency of cough
  • Morning cough
  • Night cough present
  • No cough strength
  • Nocturnal cough
  • Nocturnal cough
  • Nocturnal cough / wheeze
  • Pain provoked by coughing
  • Painful cough
  • Paroxysmal cough
  • Postural cough
  • Productive cough
  • Productive cough
  • Productive cough
  • Productive cough -clear sputum
  • Productive cough -green sputum
  • Productive cough-yellow sputum
  • Respiratory tract congestion
  • Respiratory tract congestion and cough
  • Spasmodic cough
  • Unexplained cough

Clinical Classification

Clinical Information

  • Antitussive Agents

    agents that suppress cough. they act centrally on the medullary cough center. expectorants, also used in the treatment of cough, act locally.
  • Cough

    a sudden, audible expulsion of air from the lungs through a partially closed glottis, preceded by inhalation. it is a protective response that serves to clear the trachea, bronchi, and/or lungs of irritants and secretions, or to prevent aspiration of foreign materials into the lungs.
  • Headache Disorders, Primary

    conditions in which the primary symptom is headache and the headache cannot be attributed to any known causes.
  • Whooping Cough

    a respiratory infection caused by bordetella pertussis and characterized by paroxysmal coughing ending in a prolonged crowing intake of breath.
  • Expectorants

    agents that increase mucous excretion. mucolytic agents, that is drugs that liquefy mucous secretions, are also included here.
  • Headache

    the symptom of pain in the cranial region. it may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders.
  • Bordetella pertussis

    a species of gram-negative, aerobic bacteria that is the causative agent of whooping cough. its cells are minute coccobacilli that are surrounded by a slime sheath.

Index to Diseases and Injuries References

The following annotation back-references for this diagnosis code are found in the injuries and diseases index. The Index to Diseases and Injuries is an alphabetical listing of medical terms, with each term mapped to one or more ICD-10-CM code(s).

Replacement Code

R059 replaces the following previously assigned ICD-10-CM code(s):

  • R05 - Cough

Patient Education


Coughing is a reflex that keeps your throat and airways clear. Although it can be annoying, coughing helps your body heal or protect itself. Coughs can be either acute or chronic. Acute coughs begin suddenly and usually last no more than 2 to 3 weeks. Acute coughs are the kind you most often get with a cold, flu, or acute bronchitis. Chronic coughs last longer than 2 to 3 weeks. Causes of chronic cough include:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Smoking
  • Throat disorders, such as croup in young children
  • Some medicines

Water can help ease your cough - whether you drink it or add it to the air with a steamy shower or vaporizer. If you have a cold or the flu, antihistamines may work better than non-prescription cough medicines. Children under four should not have cough medicine. For children over four, use caution and read labels carefully.

[Learn More in MedlinePlus]

Code History

  • FY 2024 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2023 through 9/30/2024
  • FY 2023 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2022 through 9/30/2023
  • FY 2022 - Code Added, effective from 10/1/2021 through 9/30/2022


[1] Not chronic - A diagnosis code that does not fit the criteria for chronic condition (duration, ongoing medical treatment, and limitations) is considered not chronic. Some codes designated as not chronic are acute conditions. Other diagnosis codes that indicate a possible chronic condition, but for which the duration of the illness is not specified in the code description (i.e., we do not know the condition has lasted 12 months or longer) also are considered not chronic.