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Doctor insights on: Coughing Up Dark Green Phlegm

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
Board Certified, Psychiatry
19 years in practice
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Dr. Andrea Brand
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Dr. Angelina Postoev
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Phlegm (Definition)

Phlegm is the thick, sticky mucus secreted by the surface of the respiratory tract during a cold or other respiratory infection. The respiratory tract includes the nose and sinuses, throat, voice box, bronchi, and lungs. Phlegm is mucus that may contain bacteria, viruses, respiratory surface cells, and inflammatory cells. Normal mucus is not phlegm, but a protective layer secreted ...Read more


Dr. John Munshower
Board Certified, Family Medicine
24 years in practice
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My husband has a had a wet cough for about a week.. No previous cold or flu. He's now coughing up very dark green phlegm. What could be the cause?

My husband has a had a wet cough for about a week.. No previous cold or flu. He's now coughing up very dark green phlegm. What could be the cause?

Infection: Viral infections are common and usually go away in time. When the symptoms persist and the color of mucus changes form clear/yellow to dark green/brown, etc. It could signify the condition is caused by a bacterial infection and your husband may need to see a dr. For definitive diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Dr. Andrea Brand
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Dr. Diane Minich
Board Certified, Family Medicine
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Dr. Martin Raff
Board Certified, Infectious Disease
50 years in practice
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I've been taking vasican bromhexine for my cough n phlegm n also on antibiotics but i'm still coughing n my phlegm is dark green. Plse help! thanks!

I've been taking vasican bromhexine for my cough n phlegm n also on antibiotics but i'm still coughing n my phlegm is dark green. Plse help! thanks!

Productive cough: The purpose of a cough is to clear unwanted material from your respiratory tract. The material you are taking is a substance designed to liquify the mucous and aid in the clearing of secretions but will not stop you from coughing. If it is keeping you awake you might try something with dextromethorphan in it. Check with your friendly pharmacist. They will have suggestions. ...Read more

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Dr. Andrea Brand
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Dr. Kimberly Ramsdell
Board Certified, Pediatrics
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Went to doc on Sat diagnosed me with flu, no tests given. I was given Tamiflu but my cough is getting worse and the phlegm is very dark green. ?

Went to doc on Sat diagnosed me with flu, no tests given.  I was given Tamiflu but my cough is getting worse and the phlegm is  very dark green. ?

Phlegm: Phlegm can be different colors throughout the day and is usually darkest (yellowish green) in the morning. Since your cough is getting worse, you may have pneumonia or sinus infection and may need another trip to see your doctor. ...Read more

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Dr. Martin Raff
Board Certified, Infectious Disease
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Dr. Robert Killian
Board Certified, General Practice
22 years in practice
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Cough with dark phlegm?

Cough: Dark phlegm: This sounds like bronchitis or a cold or pneumonia. Sometimes when we cough a lot of violently we break small blood vessels and blood can get on or into the mucous. As long as you are not freely bleeding this is considered routine and normal. ...Read more

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Dr. Peter Ihle
Board Certified, Orthopedic Surgery
48 years in practice
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I had green phlegm for about 3 weeks with a cough and phlegm is no longer green is it necessary to still seek medical attention?

I had green phlegm for about 3 weeks with a cough and phlegm is no longer green is it necessary to still seek medical attention?

Maybe not: If u r feeling better and less sick, no temperature u may have had a viral infection and ur body has won. If u continue 2 improve u may b ok. But any worsening of ur cough or u have a color change again b cn. That would b what i personally would do. 4 peace of mind u should c u r pcp? ...Read more

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Dr. Yash Khanna
Board Certified, Family Medicine
51 years in practice
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I'm a teenager Coughing for over a month now with green phlegm and also finished a bottle of cough syrup but to no avail?

I'm a teenager Coughing for over a month now with green phlegm and also finished a bottle of cough syrup but to no avail?

Consult your Doctor: You have had cough with green phlegm for over a month You should consult you Doctor for diagnosis and treatment.You may need antibiotics after diagnosis is established ...Read more

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Dr. Luis Taylor
Board Certified, Pulmonology
33 years in practice
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I have a cough that produces green phlegm and when i lay on either side i hear like a whistling noise what is it?

I have a cough that produces green phlegm and when i lay on either side i hear like a whistling noise what is it?

Wheezes: Wheezes are high pitched sounds coming from mucus filled airway.The force of air through mucus creates the sound of wheeze, like a wind instrument.. ...Read more

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Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,231 doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

Coughing is an important way to keep your throat and airways clear. However, excessive coughing may mean you have an underlying disease or disorder. Some coughs are dry, while others are considered productive. A productive cough is one ...Read more


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