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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: a seemingly incurable bronchitis

 ansan - Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:43 pm

I have had a terrible cough for over two weeks now. After the first week, because I could not sleep, I decided to go to the doctor. He said I had bronchitis and put me on antibiotic. I took it for the ten days, but it hasn't gotten better. My cough has only become drier (I used to get small discharges of thick green mucus). I have stress incontinence (that's when you urinate when you cough, right?), pain in my lower ribs, and still no sleep. I don't have fever. In fact, I'm very far from fever because my temperature hasn't gone above 97.7. I'm not one too make a big deal over colds and stuff, but the lack of sleep is really getting to me, and I'm very surprised that antibiotic didn't help. I've been on antibiotic once or twice before in my entire life, so I doubt I could have developed a reistance. Did I even have bronchitis? What's going on?
 Dr. Russell M - Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:12 pm

User avatar Hi!

Because many serious diseases of the lower respiratory tract causes cough, bronchitis is considered a diagnosis of exclusion. That is, only after ruling out every other possibilities can one diagnose bronchitis in anyone. What are the investigations done by your doctor before coming to the conclusion of bronchitis?

Among otherwise healthy individuals, antibiotics have NOT demonstrated any consistent benefit in the symptomatology or natural history of acute bronchitis. Antibiotics are recommended to patients with bronchiectasis (permanently dilated bronchioles due to chronic bronchitis) or COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a chronic type of bronchitis associated with cigarette smoking) exacerbation or if purulent (pus filled)sputum production has lasted beyond 7 days without evidence of improvement to other conventional therapy.

By conventional therapy one means the use of cough medications, antipyretics (meds to decrease fever/pain), analgesics (pain relievers), chest physiotherapy, steam inhalation, etc.

In my opinion, steam inhalation is the best house-hold remedy. A steam vaporizer besides your bed while asleep would be a good idea. With the temperatures now diving in NY, much warmth and hot drinks should help too.

Now that one round of antibiotics (for 10 days) has not helped you, it would be pertinent that you discuss regarding culture and sensitivity of your respiratory secretions with your doctor, if not already done. So also a chest X-ray. A complete blood count may indicate the presence of eosinophilia pointing to asthma.

Hope this helps.

Warm regards,

 ansan - Tue Jan 20, 2004 11:00 pm

Thank you so much, Bill! I will definitely follow up with your advice. Thank you.

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