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What causes severe cough, dry throat and running nose?

Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16760 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 29 Aug 2016 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: I have a bad cough the back of my throat is dry and a runny nose what can I take to make me feel better can I take a antibiotic in which one

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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
usually viral not bacterial , antibiotics would only help if bacterial infe

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Most cough and cold symptoms are due to viral infections not bacterial infections so antibiotics do not have an effect.

Antibiotic would be used in bacterial pneumonia or bacterial infection of the throat or ears or sinuses but as mentioned in vast majority--- it is viral.
Bacterial infection is suspected if there is prolonged fever (more than 3 to 4 days), severe symptoms.

Treatment would help to decrease your symptoms but would not cause the cold/cough to go faster.

Treatment involves: (1) rest and fluids- fluids help to break up any mucus in the nasal passages or chest

(2)anti histamine decongestant combination- this would help to decrease the runny nose and any congestion

This combination is available over the counter in any cough and cold or allergy med (allergies and cold , treated similarly)

Adding a topical decongestant to the oral one would also help eg otrivine or normal saline nasal sprays.

(3) if the cough is wet then using a mucolytic may be helpful , this is medication to break up the mucus so that it can come up faster eg mucomyst, bisolvan

(4)a cough suppressant would help to reduce the cough eg dextromethorphan- also over the counter

If you have a prolonged temperature or feel very unwell (severe fatigue, loss of appetite, malaise, shortness of breath) then you should be seen by your doctor to rule out bacterial infection or the flu.
Depending on if you have any drug allergies ,the antibiotics commonly used are amoxil, augmentin, azithromycin, duricef,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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