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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What is the best treatment for productive cough?

Hi. I am concerned about my 80 year- old mom who has fluid on her lungs. She has finished her antibiotics, but is still coughing. Its a productive cough. And comes on more at night and when talking. We told her she needs to go back to her doctor who told her to drink ice tea, gatorade and/or vitamin water. I suggested hot tea and to stop drinking milk, which she drinks twice a day. My question is what can she do to relieve her hacking cough. Sometimes it gets so bad she has to stop talking and drink something. She also takes cough drops. Is there anything else she can do for her coughs, like maybe a vaporizer? And also go back to her doctor. She has had this cough since January. I believe. Thank you
Wed, 4 May 2016
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Thanks for posting in HCM.
I understand your concern.
Productive cough could continue for some time after a course of antibiotics has been given for the condition your elderly mother suffered with.
It appears to be quite long she would be suffering from it.
Kindly do the following to overcome it.
1. Steam inhalation twice daily to ease out mucous drainage.
2. Taking syrup containing mucolytic agent like Bromhexime.
3. Chest physiotherapy exercise.
In case the symptoms does not improbe with above measures, please get a sputum culture and sensitivity test done to know if the infection is still present so that appropriate course of antibiotics can be given.
Hope the information provided would be helpful.
All the best.
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