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Persisting cough, brownish phlem, taking benzonatate, normal x-ray and blood report, history of bronchitis and pneumonia

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
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Hello, I'm 41 yr old male who has had this cough for almost 2 months now, it started out with cough after id eat, then got worse. the last 2 weeks i have been seen twice by doctors. Im currently on benzonatate 200mg twice a day, doxycycl hyc 100mg tab 1 every 12 hours, dexilant 60 mg 1 a day, and prometh/cod 6.25-10 every 4 to 6 hrs. I have had very little light brown plem com up. oh and dulera inhaler twice a day. I just had blood work, and chest exrays which came back normal.. It seems to bother me most breathing exhausted and horse in the voice for a couple of days now and gaging and almost feels like i want to pass out from coughing so much any help???? I have not been diagnosed with asthma, have had bronchitus and pnemonia before
Posted Fri, 27 Apr 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 21 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

Do you have fever?
Any history of wheezing / shortness of breath / chest pain?

According to your history, you seem to be suffering from possible infection or allergic condition involving the larynx or trachea. Laryngitis seems more likely cause of your problem. Bronchitis / bronchiolitis may also be contributing and needs to be treated as well.

Laryngitis can occur due to many causes - some of which include acid reflux, infection, allergies if any and so on.

The medications prescribed to you are right -.
1. Doxycycline is usually prescribed for Community Acquired Pneumonia which should take care of possible bacterial infections if any.
2. Cough suppressant like Benzonatate and Codeine are effective in reducing frequency and severity of cough.

Few other measures which might be helpful to you are:
1. Avoid drinking alcohol as it puts you at risk of aspiration of the stomach acids and risk of pneumonia.
2. Avoid spicy food, hot food. Eat yoghurt, fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables. Avoid lying down immediately after meal. Lie down only after 2 hours, till then you can lie at 45 degrees incline with head end raised.
3. You may do steam inhalation for relief from the cough. Avoid any cold food or fluid intake for now till you are cured. Avoid exposure to pollution, smoke, dust, cold air. Keep warm through the day.
4. Discuss with your doctor regarding the possibility of acid reflux and get evaluated if necessary. Also getting the sputum tested might help to rule out chronic infections.
5. I do not prefer the use of steroid inhaler if you do not have wheezing or asthma. You might discuss with your primary doctor about this too.

I encourage you to consult a 'Pulmonologist' for a thorough examination and evaluation. This will help you in diagnosing the condition accurately and formulating treatment.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Persisting cough, brownish phlem, taking benzonatate, normal x-ray and blood report, history of bronchitis and pneumonia 1 hour later
I do not have fever, nor have I, I do feel better after hot showers, and when i take XXXXXXX breaths through my mouth is when i feel like a little rattle and that is when gaging cough occurs
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 3 minutes later
Hi again,

The symptoms you have described are consistent with features of larynx / throat inflammation probably due to irritation / allergy / infection.

Steam inhalation might give you considerable relief by reducing irritation, moistening the air passages and also helping in removing the mucous secretions if any.

Continue with the medication as suggested by your Doctor. If there are no signs of improvement you need to consult with a Pulmonologist for specific management of your condition with possible sputum testing as well.

Keep warm. Avoid exposure to dust, pollution, cold air, etc.

Hope this helps

Wishing you good health and speedy recovery.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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