We studied the difference in the effects of codeine on coughs caused by mechanical stimulation to the larynx and to the bifurcation of the trachea in lightly anaesthetized guinea pigs. Mechanical stimulation to the larynx or the bifurcation of trachea caused a stable cough response. The response was reproducible over 60 min, when stimulation was repeatedly applied at 20-min intervals. No significant difference was found between the amplitudes of the responses to mechanical stimulation of the larynx and of the tracheal bifurcation. Codeine, 10, 20 and 50 mg/kg, dose dependently depressed the coughs caused by larynx stimulation. The antitussive, however, failed to depress the cough caused by stimulation to the tracheal bifurcation, although a large dose, 50 mg/kg, significantly depressed the cough. In capsaicin-treated guinea pigs, codeine at 20 mg/kg significantly depressed the cough caused by stimulation to the tracheal bifurcation. The present results suggest that cough caused by mechanical stimulation to the larynx might be more sensitive to codeine treatment than cough caused by stimulation to the bifurcation of trachea. Furthermore, it is suggested that coughs caused by mechanical stimulation to both sites might consist of at least two components as regards their pharmacological nature.