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Have cough and started feeling weak. How to get relief?

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Practicing since : 2006
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I've had a cough since Sunday. Got much worse about 6 hours ago. Can't stop coughing. Chest feels trembly and weak. Was at drs today. Said chest was clear but wasn't coughing as much then.
Posted Sat, 11 May 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Satyadeo Choubey 1 hour later
Thanks for visiting XXXXXXX

I went through your complaints and can feel your agony.
An acute cough (i.e is lasting for < 3weeks) is usually due to viral in origin. Many a times there may be superadded bacterial infection. I wish if you have told about your age and gender, whether it started with common cold, any sputum production, its amount and colour, previous history of asthma or any kind of allergy and history of any drug intake.

Actually first stopping this paroxysm of cough is very important. You can try cough suppressants preferably codeine preparation along with antibiotic like azithromycin. Next go for a chest x-ray, sputum examination (Gram's staining, ziehl Neelsen staining, culture and sensitivity, microscopy for sputum eosinophilia) and a complete blood count with absolute eosinophil count. If all these are normal or if you have history of allergy or asthma, go for a simple breath test called spirometry with reversibility testing.

If it is too devastating and not stopping with cough suppressants, better visit an emergency room and get yourself nebulised with bronchodilator or else try a puff of salbutamol if available...

Best wishes
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have cough and started feeling weak. How to get relief? 3 hours later
Thank you so much for your response. I'm female, 44, overweight due to taking citalopram for anxiety disorder. The cough started as a tight feeling in chest and the sensation as if I was getting a heavy cold. My friend also has a cough and been poorly and I'm sure I caught it from him. My temperature has been slightly elevated, at 37.5, but has come back to normal now. I've had terrible night sweats too. I'm not producing any phlegm although it feels as if I could. Chest tight and sore from coughing. The cough feels like its trying to clear something. It's also a vicious tickle with makes me have spasms of non stop coughing. I was even starting to wonder if I had whooping cough!
Answered by Dr. Satyadeo Choubey 32 minutes later
Again thanks for your follow up.

Whooping cough to start at this age is fairly uncommon. I think you have got viral infection with superadded bacterial infection. Well, at this juncture get a chest x-ray done. Whatever phlegms you bring out, especially during early morning hours, send it for laboratory examination. Ask your doctor for oral empirical antibiotics like azithromycin along with cough syrups. Salbutamol puffs will also help you during paroxysms. When you are good, enough to blow forcefully get a spirometry done.

Best wishes.
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