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Doctor insights on: Coughing Up Brown Mucus

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What does it mean when you cough up brown mucus?

What does it mean when you cough up brown mucus?

Infection: Infection is most likely but both bacterial and viral infections can cause brown mucus. If this has been persistent, see your doctor. ...Read more

Mucus (Definition)

Like material that functions to moisten and protect inner body surfaces. The viscous slippery substance that consists chiefly of mucin, water, cells, and inorganic salts and that is secreted as a protective lubricant coating by the cells and glands of the mucous membranes. The free slime of the mucous membranes, composed of secretion of the glands, various salts, ...Read more


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Is it okay to cough up brown mucus after waking up?

Is it okay to cough up brown mucus after waking up?

No: May be blood in your mucous. Make appointment to see your Physician, and take in a sample of your brown fluids. ...Read more

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When i woke up this morning I am coughing up brown mucus also when i blow my nose I have a cough my sinuses hurt and my throat hurt. Help?

When i woke up this morning I am coughing up brown mucus also when i blow my nose I have a cough my sinuses hurt and my throat hurt. Help?

See doctor: It seems like you might be dealing with a bad sinus infection. You need to be seen by your doctor today. Tobacco use sets you up for this sort of thing, damaging the cilia in your nose that helps prevent infection. It's a sign that you need to stop smoking. ...Read more

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I have been coughing up brown mucus for over a year. What is causing it?

I have been coughing up brown mucus for over a year. What is causing it?

Some possibilities: There can a medical problem such as post-nasal drip mucus from the nose and sinuses. In more worrisome cases, there is a throat problem or lung problem, such as infection or cancer. Infections can be tuberculosis, chronic bronchitis, etc... It may take visits to a primary care doctor, an ENT doctor, and possibly a lung specialist to figure out which medical problem is causing the mucus. ...Read more

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I have a small cold but just recently started coughing. I am coughing up brown mucus, why?

I have a small cold but just recently started coughing. I am coughing up brown mucus, why?

Acute bronchitis: Is a viral disease characterized by prolonged, excessive coughing. The most common symptom of acute bronchitis is a cough with mucus. Acute bronchitis is a one-time condition that lasts for several weeks. Drink plenty of fluids and otc medication. However, pneumonia can have symptoms like acute bronchitis. Rec. See your pcp to rule out pneumonia. ...Read more

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I had my tonsils and agnoids removed about 4 days ago and have been coughing up brown mucus quite often. Is this normal?

Tonsil out last week: Totally normal. Gargle with warm salt water and the throats will feel better as well.
Keep drinking plenty of water and this will resolve. ...Read more

Dr. Marvin Den Dr. Den
2 doctors agreed:
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I had a sinus infection about a month ago, since then at night I wake up with very restricted breathing and coughing up green/ brown mucus. what's up?

I had a sinus infection about a month ago, since then at night I wake up with very restricted breathing and coughing up green/ brown mucus. what's up?

See your Doctor: This requires a physical exam plus additional tests to see what the cause of this is. They will ask if you have been smoking, and will find out the cause of your restricted breathing. This appears to be treatable, so I advise you see your primary care physician. ...Read more

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Cough for about 6 weeks, body aches, throat burns and feels swollen, coughing up dark brown mucus and thought there was some blood in it this morning.

Cough for about 6 weeks, body aches, throat burns and feels swollen, coughing up dark brown mucus and thought there was some blood in it this morning.

See a doctor: This sounds as if it is potentially severe and needs a full detailed assessment. Stop smoking. Answers on healthtap aren't intended for individual treatment, prescription or diagnosis. ...Read more

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I have mucus in my chest and when I tap my back and cough I spit up brown mucus ?

Bronchitis: You either have bronchitis or pneumonia, which is a radiologic diagnosis. Either way you have a bacterial bronchial infection, and with brown sputum, my recommendation would be definitely to treat with a prescription antibiotic. Some physicians may prefer to due a sputum culture prior to initiation of therapy. You need to see a physician, and of course consider smoking cessation if you do. ...Read more

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Cold for 5 days. But now eye is getting red and crusty and developing cough. Coughed up hard green/brown mucus with tiny red streak. What is this?

Cold for 5 days. But now eye is getting red and crusty and developing cough. Coughed up hard green/brown mucus with tiny red streak. What is this?

Possible infection: Recommend that you see a family doctor for your upper respiratory symptoms and your eye. You also may need referral for an Ophthalmic exam. ...Read more

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I'm coughing up dark brown mucus, sore throat, stuffy nose with headache. Does this sound viral or from an infection? I have unused cehpalexin 500mg

I'm coughing up dark brown mucus, sore throat, stuffy nose with headache.  Does this sound viral or from an infection?  I have unused cehpalexin 500mg

Need 2 c ur doctor: you don't want to self medicate and start an antibiotic on your own, (why was it left over? is another question), see your doctor for evaluation and possible need for more Rx medications, best wishes ...Read more

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I have bad allergies and I don't really take anything. could this be why I cough up clear mucus with brown stuff in it? sometimes its all brown.

Mucus drainage: Allergy to inhalant allergens, weather changes like change in humidity, and viral infections can cause drainage of mucus. Antihistamine such as Claritin (loratadine) could help to reduce symptoms of allergy. Decongestants such as Sudafed can reduce congestion from any cause. Use of humidifiers can be helpful. ...Read more

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I've been coughing a lot and i wake up feeling like i got hit by a train. When i blow my nose or cough up mucus, it's brown. What could be wrong?

I've been coughing a lot and i wake up feeling like i got hit by a train. When i blow my nose or cough up mucus, it's brown. What could be wrong?

See a doctor: You may need a chest x-ray after a full exam. Need more info about whether you have had fever, chest pain, shortness of breath and so on. Please go see someone soon and start the new year out healthy., best wishes. ...Read more

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Coughing up brown-ish color mucus with weird taste somewhat metallic, shortness of breath, & hurts when I take deep breaths. What can this be? HELP!

Mgt: You may have pneumonia which can cause irritation of the lining of the lung. This irritation may result in bleeding which tinges the sputum a brownish color.
Please ask your doctor to send the sputum for bacterial and possibly fungal cultures. Monitor your temperature, and please see your PCP to discuss a course of antibiotics, culture and maybe a chest x ray. ...Read more

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Quit smoking a month+ ago and coughing up green mucus with brown/grey specks a month. Started to turn clear but then one bloody hunk. From quitting?

Quit smoking a month+ ago and coughing up green mucus with brown/grey specks a month. Started to turn clear but then one bloody hunk. From quitting?

See your doctor!!: Blood in sputum should always be evaluated. Depending on your age, there is always concern that blood may represent something serious. It is most frequently just inflammation from smoking, but more serious conditions, particularly cancer (in older individuals with longer smoking histories) must be ruled out. Cough and sputum production may be present for 1-2 months after stopping. Congrats!! ...Read more

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I quit smoking about a month ago and have been using an ecig now I have a sore throat and I coughed up a chunk of brown mucus that was pretty hard ?

I quit smoking about a month ago and have been using an ecig now I have a sore throat and I coughed up a chunk of brown mucus that was pretty hard ?

Smoking: First congratulations on quitting smoking. Keep it up. After you quit your lungs are going to start getting rid of stuff in your chest. It is normal to have some productive phlegm. ...Read more

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How come i cough out brown mucus in the morning?

How come i cough out brown mucus in the morning?

Smoke or broken bv: Several items can contribute to the brownness of your mucus in the am.
If you are coughing, small broken blood vessels can leak a few red blood cells contributing to the discoloration but more often it can be related to smoking and or tobacco byproducts. If you are concerned a sample should be brought into your md for a culture and sensitivity test. ...Read more

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I cough up clear mucus with light brown stuff in it. What is it? And why?

I cough up clear mucus with light brown stuff in it. What is it? And why?

Need answers: Well, how much do you cough-up? When (more in the morning?)? What kind of cigarettes do you smoke? For how long have you smoked? Coughed? Is that light brown stuff ever red? Is the brown stuff in little spots or all smeared-up? Are you getting the impression I'm worried about your smoking? Besides that, it may just be irritation from air pollution, allergies, a mild cold or, oh yes, smoking. ...Read more

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When I cough, I cough up clear mucus with little light brown specks all through it what is it ?

Old blood-mucous: get examined and have mucous cultured for a bacterial infection. Get a chest x ray and stop smoking. ...Read more

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I am a 37yr old female smoker. I cough chronically more so at night while laying down. Sometimes i cough up mucus that is either clear, green brown.

I am a 37yr old female smoker.  I cough chronically more so at night while laying down. Sometimes i cough up mucus that is either clear, green brown.

Cough: If you have a cough with sputum production then you have bronchitis-possibly chronic obstructive bronchitis (COPD) given smoking history. Cough however is often multifactorial and can be worse at night due to gerd/reflux or post nasal drip or aspiration or even irritant exposure (such as from sleeping on down pillows/sleeping with pets/etc) to name a few. ...Read more

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Every morning i have to cough and thick mucus comes out, sometimes almost brown. Dry cough only when laying down, and nose is dry. What could this be?

See doctor: It is hard to tell what may be causing your problem with so little details ( how long? color of mucus ? medications taken etc). ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,613 doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that uses muscles in your throat and chest to expel mucous and saliva that may contain pathogens that would otherwise possibly be inhaled via aerosol or to expel pathogens infecting the throat and respiratory system. Cough benefits the host by reducing load and benefits the pathogen which may then spread via aerosol. ...Read more