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Sore throat, mix of stuffed and runny nose, cough up brown phlegm, do not smoke. Cause of brown phlegm?

I have been coughing up brown phlegm for the past few weeks and I want to know why. I am 18 years old and I have been doing research about it but I cannot find an answer. It says brown phlegm is related mostly to smokers, but I have never smoked anything. I have also had these symptoms: sore throat and a mix of a stuffed up nose and a runny nose.
Asked On : Mon, 29 Oct 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  149
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Diseases and Conditions
ENT Specialist 's  Response
Aug 2013
I am Dr Sriram nathan and I shall try to help you with your problem

In all probably you might have an infection in your throat and this would have caused your symptoms. The brown phlegm can be either due to an infection or a reflux.

None of these are to be worried. You can easily treat them and you can get back to normal in a week or so!

In any case you must do these:
1. Take warm water with a little salt and gargle

2. If you have pain then you must start a course of oral antibiotic like the amox-clav along with pain killers like the paracetamol or diclofenac. Your doctor will know about this.

3. I would usually also start an anti reflux medication like the pantoprazole for a week or two

4. Avoid anything spicy and oily for the next one week or two

5. take voice rest for your throat and do not take anything cold. Also do not have anything very hard.

6. You may also take an antihistamine medication like levocetrizine for a couple of weeks or so in consultation with your doctor.

You should feel better in a day or two. If not then you must consult an ENT surgeon to evaluate your tonsil and throat. Also take a throat swab and get back to me or any ENT with the report.

hope this helps


Dr Sriram Nathan
Answered: Fri, 22 Nov 2013
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