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81 year old has coughing spells. Mucinex not helping. Advice?

I have a female friend who is 81 years old. She smokes a pack of cigarets a day. Back in October she had a small stroke . She suffers from short term memory loss . Lately, she has been have prolonged coughing spells. The doctor has her taking Mucinex, but it doesn t seem to be helping. She is getting little rest because of the coughing. Any advice?
Asked On : Tue, 12 Mar 2013
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Prolonged or chronic cough can be related to a number of different conditions. With a history of chronic smoking this may definitely be a contributing factor, chronic smoking can result with COPD which stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Persistent cough may be a presenting symptoms.

Your friend may want to consider visiting her doctor to determine if this is present.
It is treated with the use of certain inhalors, antibiotics if an infection is present. Some persons require oxygen therapy. It would be best if she stopped smoking,if this is difficult to do on her own she could enlist the help of her doctor who can suggest nicotine replacements.

Other causes of persistent coughing are GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), post nasal drip and cough variant asthma.
If her doctor does not believe it is related to COPD, then treatment may be initiated for one of these.

I hope this helps
Answered: Wed, 13 Mar 2013
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