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What causes persistent cough after an upper respiratory tract infection?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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Good morning, I was diagnosed with bronchitis and a sinus infection last Thursday. I had been sick for 6 days prior to going to the doctor last Thursday, primarily aches, low grade fever (99.7) sinus congestion, forehead pain and cough (that at the time I thought was bad, but knowing what I know now it was only the beginning). The doctor put me on a z-pac (generic) and an inhaler. Still was having a lot of trouble sleeping at night due to the cough so Saturday morning he put me on 4mg steroid pack for I think it is 6 days and I have the Robitussin w/codein for taking at nighttime. Does the cough get worst before getting better due to the loosening of phlem? Last evenning and overnight was a killer for coughing and just need to know there is light at the end of this tunnel. No fevers, very tired due to lack of sleep and very tired of coughing. After a cough attack is it normal to burp? Never have smoked, never had asthma, healthy female. Just want to make sure I am not missing something. I am taking mucinex d during the day as an expectorant and drinking a lot of hot water as that seems to help. Just curious so I know if I will actual survive this bronchitis or not.
Posted Sun, 2 Mar 2014 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. T Shobha Deepak 47 minutes later
Brief Answer: Persistent cough due to hyperactive airway Detailed Answer: Hi Welcome to Healthcare-Magic Greetings of the day In some of the individual there is persistent cough following an episode of upper respiratory tract infection due to hyper reactive airway. There is no cause for concern in absence of fever and difficulty in breathing. Exhaustion following bout of coughing is common and also fatigue. I would suggest you the following which will definitely help 1. Warm saline gargling : Add two spoon of common table salt to glass of lukewarm. Gargle thrice a day. 2. Steam inhalation : 15 to 20 minutes every session thrice a day will be helpful 3. Mucolytic Expectorant containing bromhexine will be helpful. 4. Decoction : to a cup of milk + 10 Tulsi leaves + 2 gms of fresh ginger + 2 spoon of sugar+ 2 black pepper + 1 spoon of turmeric. Bring it to boil. Consume hot thrice a day as you consume freshly brewed coffee. It will have a soothening effect on the throat and decreae congestion 5. Ensure good water intake: 2 to 3 liter a day 6. Consumption of hot soup may be beneficial These will definitely help In case you require any further assistance, will be glad to assist you. Take care Best Regards Dr T Shobha Deepak MBBS, MD
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Follow-up: What causes persistent cough after an upper respiratory tract infection? 24 minutes later
Thank you for your reply. Since bromhexine, as an ingredient in our medicine (US), is not available what other US over the counter medicine would you recommend for chesty coughs? I know not to do anything that will suppress the cough as that becomes counter productive for someone with bronchitis. The Mucinex D I have been taking every 4 hours during the day has guaifenesin (400 mg per tablet) and pseudoephedrine HCI (40mg per tablet). Decoction : to a cup of milk + 10 Tulsi leaves + 2 gms of fresh ginger + 2 spoon of sugar+ 2 black pepper + 1 spoon of turmeric. Bring it to boil. Consume hot thrice a day as you consume freshly brewed coffee. It will have a soothening effect on the throat and decrease congestion. I do not drink coffee and am allergic to dairy so the decoction does not work for me. Also, we do not have, or have no idea where to get, 10 Tulsi leaves -- so I will cross this one of my possible list. -- sorry. For nighttime (the last 2 nights) I have taken 2 tsp Robitussin AC, which can be taken every 6 hours. It hasn't been as great of an answer to my sleeping, unfortunately. I do not take it during the day because of the codeine. Nos. 1, 2, 5 and 6 I have been doing so looks like I am atleast doing what I should be doing to try and get ahead of this. If you can think of anything else to help ease the coughing so I can sleep, that would be great! Also, why do I burp so much after a coughing spell?
 
 
Answered by Dr. T Shobha Deepak 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Budesonide MDI will be helpful Detailed Answer: Hi Greetings During coughing there can be prolonged bout of inspiration and this air also enters the stomach. Gaseous distension if stomach relaxes lower oesophagus sphincter expelling out gas causing burping. 1. For Mucolytic syrup Carbocisteine syrup may be helpful. 2. 2 spoon of honey +2 drops of lemon juice+1 gm of crushed ginger if available consumed thrice daily will give soothening relief to throat and cough. 3. Decoction of water along with sugar, turmeric, ginger and black pepper will equally be soothening for bronchitis. Tulsi is Holy basel, it's okay if it's not available. This is time tested remedy by many of the Surgeon and Physician in India and works well for both allergic and non allergic bronchitis. 4. Addition of Budesonide metered dose inhaler will be very beneficial. Do get back to me if you need any further assistance, will be glad to assist you. Take care Best Regards Dr T Shobha Deepak MBBS, MD
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