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Suggest treatment for persistent cough and cold

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Posted on Fri, 29 May 2015
Question: Hi,
I have had this chest cold for 3 months now and it is not getting any better. I am 56 years old, not a smoker and in fantastic shape.
At first my doctor thought it was a virus then he thought it was bacteria.
At this point my chest is clear (I had a chest x-ray that verified that) but I am still coughing and bringing up a very thick yellowish mucous. My chest definitely hurts a lot when I cough and I sometimes get into coughing fits after exerting myself. I am using an inhaler and have been taking a steroid called Prednisone for a week now. I am scheduled to see a respiratory and Pulmonary specialist at National Jewish Hospital in XXXXXXX but I can't get an appointment until a month from now. I was wondering if you have any ideas on what to do until then. Should I continue taking Predisone? Thanks. XXXXXXX

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Answered by Dr. Nishad BN (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Bacterial lower respiratory infection most likely.

Detailed Answer:
Hi

Thank you for asking HCM.

I have gone through your query. Your problem can be most likely bacterial lower respiratory infection. It could have stated initially as viral infection and secondary bacterial infection came after that. The yellowish mucous discharge gives a sign of bacterial infection. An allergic condition can coexist also.

Since Z pack hasn't helped you, I think you need a change of antibiotic. If you aren't unable to push for early appointment, you can consider consulting a local GP. Perhaps he can order a sputum culture and sensitivity as well as Sputum AFB test for tuberculosis. Azithromycin (z pack) wont be effective for some bacterial infections. Stronger broad spectrum antibiotic like broad spectrum pencillin, bronchodilators and antihistamines needs to be prescribed.

A family physician can manage it usually. Taking oral prednisolone for long time is not recommended. Even if you want to stop it should be tapered. Approach your GP for that.

You can also try steam inhalation. It helps to great extent.

Let me know if anything not clear. I am happy to help you.
Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Nishad BN

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 5438 Questions

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Suggest treatment for persistent cough and cold

Brief Answer: Bacterial lower respiratory infection most likely. Detailed Answer: Hi Thank you for asking HCM. I have gone through your query. Your problem can be most likely bacterial lower respiratory infection. It could have stated initially as viral infection and secondary bacterial infection came after that. The yellowish mucous discharge gives a sign of bacterial infection. An allergic condition can coexist also. Since Z pack hasn't helped you, I think you need a change of antibiotic. If you aren't unable to push for early appointment, you can consider consulting a local GP. Perhaps he can order a sputum culture and sensitivity as well as Sputum AFB test for tuberculosis. Azithromycin (z pack) wont be effective for some bacterial infections. Stronger broad spectrum antibiotic like broad spectrum pencillin, bronchodilators and antihistamines needs to be prescribed. A family physician can manage it usually. Taking oral prednisolone for long time is not recommended. Even if you want to stop it should be tapered. Approach your GP for that. You can also try steam inhalation. It helps to great extent. Let me know if anything not clear. I am happy to help you. Thanks.