Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

140 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Have had bronchitis. Developed cough and coughing up mucus. Is this a mucus plug?

Answered by
Dr. R.A. Singh

Emergency Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2000

Answered : 2160 Questions

Posted on Fri, 11 Jan 2013 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Hi. I have had bronchitis in the past. I recently contracted a cough similar to others I've had previously. Yesterday, I coughed up what felt like a tonsil stone but was pink (with a whitish/grey tip) and was about 1 cm long and 5 mm wide. Is this a mucus plug? Also, I'm still coughing but not as much as before the sputum. I am currently taking bromhexane hydrochloride 8 mg 3x per day. I was previously taking robitussin expectorant. One more thing, I'm taking benicar 20 mg plus diuretic for blood pressure which is currently at 120/80.
Answered by Dr. R.A. Singh 2 hours later
Thanks for writing your query.

Mucus and mucus plugs can be seen in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases.
Bromhexine is a mucolytic agent used in treating respiratory disorders with increased and thick mucus.

Therefore, when the mucus came out, due to the action of bromhexine, you felt much better and the cough was also decreased.

You can take antiallergy medicine like Levocetrizine 5 mg once a day after consulting your treating doctor.

Benicar contains olmesartan and can be continued as your blood pressure recording is absolutely within normal range.

You should get a Culture and Sensitivity test done for the sputum to know whether any infection is present and if present the required antibiotic to cure your infection, as infection occurs commonly in bronchitis patients.

I hope this is helpful to you. If you have any further query, I will be happy to help.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E
Follow up: Dr. R.A. Singh 15 hours later
Thank you Dr. XXXXXXX Does that which I described sound like a mucus plug (pink in color, hard like a tonsil stone, the size I mentioned)? Also, as my cough continues, albeit less severe, is it possible or likely that I could have more mucus plugs currently which could be dislodged as a result of continuing with the medication? Finally, when should I stop taking the bromhexine? I am currently traveling out of the country and will not have access to my physician for two more weeks.
Answered by Dr. R.A. Singh 4 hours later
Thanks for your response.

Tonsil stones usually present with pain while swallowing and inflammation of the tonsils, which I assume your treating doctor must have already examined, so it is more in favour of mucus plug.

There are possibilities of more mucus plug in your respiratory tract, which can dissolve and come out with a mucolytic like bromhexine and ambroxol. You can continue taking bromhexine for one to two weeks, depending upon your cough.

It is advisable that you should get a culture and senstivity of your sputum done to know if there is added bacterial infection and to start the appropiate antibiotic accordingly. If there is any infection in your respiratory tract, that can also lead to persistent cough and will need antibiotic therapy to cure the cough.

Taking antiallergy medicine as mentioned before will be helpful in decreasing the cough.

I hope this is helpful to you. If you have any more query, I will be happy to answer them.
Regards. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Mohammed Kappan

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions ,   ,  

Recent questions on  Persistant cough

doctor1 MD

Hello there. I m an eighteen year old female, and a recovering bulimic for the past six months. For a while now, I ve been having the same symptoms: A persistent cough, that worsens after eating. Chest pain that feels like a tightening, especially after sleeping, or lying down. And more recently: nausea at night time for hours, acid reflux with the nausea, frequent burping, and occasionally a cramping pain after eating. For a period of two weeks, my doctor put me on the prescription antacid Protonix because I told him that I thought my symptoms match that of G.E.R.D. It did seem to help a little bit, but not with the cough. Although in my recent visit, my doctor said he wanted to address the coughing the most, and that he does not believe this to be a G.I issue. Through all my research and in dealing with my own symptoms, I do. The symptoms have been present for a long time, and given my history with an eating disorder for four years, I believe a G.I issue is very possible. I ve asked to at the least get some kind of screening done, a Barium Swallow or an endoscopy. My doctor gave me nose spray and scheduled a sinus X ray and a pulmonary exam; the results for those test haven t come back yet. A month ago, because of the chest pain, I went to the ER. They ran a CT scan and an X ray. Both returned normal. Any help would be most appreciated. Thank you for your time!

doctor1 MD

I have developed a persistent cough after I was diagnosed with a lung infection on 16 August 2011(it was the first time ever that I had lung infection, I , 41yrs old). On 23 Auguse the doctor told me because my lungs have been sensitised it has developed to mild ashma enven though my lungs are clear. I work in an emotionaly toxic environment and is daily under huge stress caused by my Director. Can stress at work cause my chronic coughing (which sometimes make me vomit). I look forward to your answer. Kind regards Crystal

doctor1 MD

Hi I was diagnosed with pleurisy on Monday, was prescribed amoxicillin 500mg three times daily. My symptoms improved and I feel fine unless I do something physical, eg taking my dog for a short walk, resulted in a persistant cough, shortness of breath and general tiredness and aches in shoulders and chest. Planned on returning to work tomorrow? I am primary school teacher.

doctor1 MD

At 47, I just started to have heart pain. The pain seems to be 3 maybe 4 times a day lasting 3 minutes to an hour. Almost like spasms. I am a light smoker and as of now, have stopped now although I think it is too late. I have no persistant cough, my eating is very good and I ride my bike 10 miles a day. Pretty much a weight lifter. My blood pressure is 127/82. Needless to say, I am very scared now. I have no health insurance and frankly not working at the moment. So, am I dying here or what?

doctor1 MD

My hard headed husband is not feeling well and I cant get him to the Dr.'s, Two weeks ago he had flu like , symptoms. Coughing, fever and chills . He was taking Mucinex and Nightquil. Then his urine changed color. He says it very dark at times,...

doctor1 MD

I have a persistant cough and I noticed that cough symptoms are very high in zip 45324. Why is that? I noticed that along the California coat the cough symptoms are low. Why the difference in the areas?

doctor1 MD

I have been having intermittant ache/pain in shoulder and upper arm for f few weeks. First on my left side, but more often now on my right side. Had bad case of persistant cough last night and bad fatigue . I am a 67 year old woman. I'm supposed...