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Swallowed hydrocodone and pseuderine cough syrup by mistake. What can happen?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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I swallowed hydrocodone and pseuderine cough syrup down the wrong pipe a minute ago. It was a small amount, like less than a teaspoon, but now I am terrified of it being in my lungs and causing me to die! What will happen? I coughed a lot after I choked on it, but what if its still in my lungs?
Posted Thu, 17 Jan 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Prasad 1 hour later

Thanks for the query.

Aspiration does cause serious troubles especially when a person is unconscious or if something is forced into the lungs in large quantities like in a case of drowning.

Small amounts of particles induce spontaneous cough reflux when they enter into the windpipe to expel them out of the pipe. And if at all some remain it gets resolved. Rarely the complications expected are infection and collapse of part of the lung. Both the complications can be easily managed with early treatment and deaths are very rare with such events.

Therefore if you had bouts of cough while swallowing and suspect the swallowed particles have entered into the lungs I would suggest you to visit your doctor's office. Your doctor can order Chest X-rays and prescribe broad spectrum antibiotics to take care of any complications that may arise.

You should be fine to lead a healthy life. And please take care while eating and swallowing food.

Hope I was able to address your concerns. Let me know if you need further assistance.

Good luck!!
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