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Hypertension, coughing a lot, diagnosed A-fib - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 3632 Questions
User :   Hello I am 36 years old and am the son of a 61 year old woman. She has been diagnosed by doctors as having hypertension and was also diagnosed this past summer as having A-fib. For about 2-3 weeks she has been coughing a lot, dry the majority of the time. She went to see her PCP this about a week and a half ago, he prescribed anti-biotics and put her on a inhaler...i guess thinking either she may be asthmatic or because of the a-fib may be taking in cold when she breathes in. In any event, her next appt with him is Jan 19, she may try to schedule an appointment with him before then, but in the meantime, what can we do to minimize the coughing. They both think that it could be cold related but then she recently did a search on line about Lymes disease and she is thinking that she may have this too...not sure about this one. But again what can we do to control the coughing - is there a cough syrup that won't be a problem for someone who has hypertension and who is diagnosed as having a-fib???
Doctor :   Hi
Doctor :   Dr
User :   Hello Dr.
Doctor :   let me read ur query
Doctor :   first to know whether this cough is due to bronchitis or due to asthma or due to infection is to be known
Doctor :   bronchitis - can be releived by antitussives and cough syrups and cough lozenges
User :   that's the part i am not sure of, her doctor seemed to lean towards asthma and that's why he prescribed and inhaler....but that isnt helping
User :   with the coughing
Doctor :   in case of asthma, it will be associated with wheeing
Doctor :   and it is more common to increase in severtiy during the cold
User :   ummm, I haven't heard a lot of wheezing, but it may be there
Doctor :   she can take halls cough lozenges
Doctor :   to prevent the symptoms , she can take claritin or clarinex once daily to prevent the allerigic signs
User :   doesnt halls or claritn/clarinex have any properties that would conflict with hypertension or a-fib??? I thought about coricidinHBP cough syrup as well...what is your feeling there?
Doctor :   no they do not
User :   oh ok, should cough syrup be used or taken or should we stick to cough drops...
Doctor :   you can take any cough syrup containing Dextroamphetamine
Doctor :   or codiene
User :   don't those two cause problems with a-fib?
Doctor :   no
Doctor :   Afib is due to irregular heart function
Doctor :   and cough is due to asthma
Doctor :   both are independent
User :   but I was under the impression that there maybe cough syrups that would cause the heart to race, i.e. the Afib
Doctor :   no
User :   but some cough syrups do contain stimulants that act as caffeine and would cause the heart to race?
Doctor :   cough syrups containing beta agonists can cause Heart rate to increase in normal individuals
User :   oh okay, so why didn't the PCP recommend or prescribe cough syrup for her then?
Doctor :   beta agonists like salmeterol and salbutamol
Doctor :   can increase Heart rate
User :   from what you know here, do you see any reason why her PCP wouldnt have urged her to get, take or even he himself prescribe or recommend a cough syrup
Doctor :   probably she is of the view that the cough is due to bronchospasm and hence she has given her inhalers to help her
User :   in that case would a cough syrup work then?
User :   Okay, well thanks for your assistance Doctor!
Doctor :   she can take cough syrups that i have mentioned
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