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Had cough and upper viral infection. Prescribed zpac and syrup. Concerned?

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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2308 Questions
My son 42 has had a violent cough now for about a month. It is so bad that at times he passes out. The Drs. he saw said he had a upper viral infection and prescribed zpac and some cough syrup. I am concerned because the Drs. didn't ask him to come back for a follow up only if he doesn't get better they said. is this the right thing the Drs. are doing? my email is YYYY@YYYY
Posted Wed, 23 Oct 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Prasad 48 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You can wait for a couple of weeks more...

Detailed Answer:

If it's only cough that is bothering him, the we can wait for a couple of week more before changing treatment. I say this because most viral infection leaves behind dry cough which responds very little to cough syrup. It does eventually subside in 4-6 weeks.

I wouldn't be concerned if its only cough that is troubling him now. However if he has associated complaints of shortness of breathe, a wheeze (rustling sound while he breathes), a chest pain, on and off fever, low appetite and loss of weight, I will definitely suggest for an early follow up.

Encourage him to drink plenty of fluids. Add lots of fruits and vegetables to his diet. Sleeping in a reclined / semi recline posture can help him sleep better.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need clarifications.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had cough and upper viral infection. Prescribed zpac and syrup. Concerned? 36 hours later
Thank you for the input. My son received the diagnosis finally and he had whooping cough so thank goodness he was on the zpak.
Answered by Dr. Prasad 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
I hope he is feeling better now...

Detailed Answer:
I'm glad that a definitive diagnosis is made. As I mentioned in my previous reply, I specifically mention to my patient that this kind of cough will only start to decline after 6 weeks. And cough syrups would do little to relieve this problem.

Nevertheless coutine cough syrup formula. Keep him well hydrated and include plenty of fruits and vegetables to his diet. If he has problem sleeping then ask him to sleep in a semi reclined position. This posture might help him sleep.

Wish him a speedy recovery...

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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