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Infant with bad congestion, bad cough with leg pain and vomiting. Why is there cough after amoxicillin?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
My daughter is 30 months old with bad congestion and a bad cough. she is complaining of leg pain and within the last minute vomited. This is the 10th day (final day) of an amoxicillian twice a day for chronic ear infection/URI. No fever three hours ago, and I find it odd that she is still coughing after a 10 day cycle of amoxicillian.
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 1 hour later
Hello ,
I just happened to read your query and I completely understand your concern and anxiety regarding your daughters symptoms.
Ear infections not resolving for more than a week, with or without fever, vomiting, irritability and leg pain do signify a remote possibility of complications like meningitis or septicemia. It is not common for regular infection to check off with 10 day course of Amoxicillin, this elevates a suspicion more than a regular ear infection.
Until now, parents have been warned to look out for their child having a headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light and a pinprick rash. But these symptoms can occur very late in the course of illness, leaving little time for treatment.
Today’s research has highlighted three earlier symptoms of the infection -- leg pain, cold hands and feet, and an abnormally pale, mottled skin color which should be considered as warning signs to seek prompt medical attention. Check if your daughter has these too?
Thus said none of the above are not specific for meningitis and it's possible that these can occur with uncontrolled infection but not amounting to meningitis.
In any case my best suggestion at this time is not to delay further investigations like blood and CSF (cerebro spinal fluid) counts and CT scan (Computer Tomography) brain to confirm the diagnosis.
So, it would be advisable you take your daughter to an urgent care facility rather than wait for routine appointment. Even if she tests negative for meningitis, timely intervention for controlling her symptomatic infection would prevent risk of other associated complications with simple ear infection like mastoiditis, abscess, pneumonitis etc.
I empathize with your situation and wish your daughter a speedy recovery.
I ll be available for any follow up queries.
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