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Doctor insights on: Still Coughing After Bronchitis

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Still coughing after taking antibiotics for bronchitis. What else can I do to help?

Still coughing after taking antibiotics for bronchitis. What else can I do to help?

Prolonged cough: How long has the cough persisted and is there still production of phlegm?
Many of my patients are surprised to hear that cough after significant upper respiratory infection can persist up to 6 weeks!
suggest meeting with your doctor if the cough is longer than 4weeks, to determine other potential causes of your cough not related to the infection concern. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,596 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


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I was diagnosed with accute bronchitis 7 days before. All other symptoms are gone by now but my cough is still here! Is it normal?

I was diagnosed with accute bronchitis 7 days before. All other symptoms are gone by now but my cough is still here! Is it normal?

Reactive airways: Once your airways are inflamed by a viral illness, they may not settle down easily. I wonder if you've been diagnosed with asthma - or if any close relatives have that? If that's the case, you probably have some residual inflammation in the airways that is causing the cough. Albuterol might help. If it's bad a steroid inhaler like fluticasone would be needed. Talk to your doc about getting one. ...Read more

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I have Bronchitis and have been treated but I still have a cough some productive and some not should I see my dr. Again no pain at all.

I have Bronchitis and have been treated but I still have a cough some productive and some not should I see my dr. Again no pain at all.

May: Be. Cough may persist after treatment for a week or two. If you smoke that may even prolong the cough. You did not state your treatment. If bronchospasm was part of your presentation an brochodilator inhaler may be helpful. ...Read more

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I was diagnosed with bronchitis 10 days ago. I feel better now but my cough is still present. I've been around people who smoke lately. Worried.

I was diagnosed with bronchitis 10 days ago. I feel better now but my cough is still present. I've been around people who smoke lately. Worried.

No worries: Viral bronchitis will resolve, sooner or later. From days to weeks. There is no reason to worry.

Smoking has become a "social no no". Fortunately second hand smoke does not cause lung damage, although more and more people find it very annoying. For real lung disease and cancer you have to smoke at least 30 years yourself, 20 cigarettes daily. Something you did not do.
Don't worry be happy! ...Read more

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Girlfriend has significantly recovered from bronchitis she has had for just over two weeks. It is just a minor cough now. Should I still be concerned?

Girlfriend has significantly recovered from bronchitis she has had for just over two weeks. It is just a minor cough now. Should I still be concerned?

Not likely: There is reasonable data the a residual cough from a bout of acute bronchitis can last up to 8 weeks in some persons, more typically it's on the order of 2-3 weeks. As long as that's the only symptoms and not persistent fevers, chills, sweats, blood in the cough, shortness of breath and/or chest pain. If other symptoms persist or have arisen, she should seek in person help. Best of luck. ...Read more

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Had bronchitis almost a month, Still have congestion and slight cough, but getting better. Is it weird it's lasting so long?

Had bronchitis almost a month, Still have congestion and slight cough, but getting better. Is it weird it's lasting so long?

Not unusual: It is not unusual for the cough from acute bronchitis to linger for a month. Should the cough not continue to improve over the next 2-3 weeks please see your physician. ...Read more

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Was told my two year has bronchitis few says ago but still horrible cough it's hard for her to stop coughing she is on zpak is this normal?

Was told my two year has bronchitis few says ago but still horrible cough it's hard for her to stop coughing she is on zpak is this normal?

Supportive care: She could benefit from a bronchodilator four times a day. Push fluids, but stay off milk because milk can make mucus. Elevate her mattress, keep the vaporizer going and rub vaporub on her chest for vomfort. ...Read more

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Can a (relatively) dry cough still be associated with chronic bronchitis?

Can a (relatively) dry cough still be associated with chronic bronchitis?

Chronic bronchitis.: Sputum production is the hallmark of chronic bronchitis. Sputum becomes voluminous and thick at times, and is always present in a chronic bronchitic. So a dry cough would not be consistent with true chronic bronchitis. ...Read more

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Taken all my meds for bronchitis still have my cough. Am I contagious still? Can you pass through kissing?

Taken all my meds for bronchitis still have my cough. Am I contagious still? Can you pass through kissing?

Bronchitis: Viral infections can be transmitted through exchange of saliva and breathing on someone else. Check with your doctor to determine if your bronchitis is cleared and otherwise, determine the cause of persistent court. ...Read more

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While bronchitis is clearing, I know it's normal to still have a cough but is it normal to have a little congestion and mucus as well?

While bronchitis is clearing, I know it's normal to still have a cough but is it normal to have a little congestion and mucus as well?

OK if you are better: Average time to cure a viral syndrome is 2 weeks - not unusual to have above symptoms as long as they are improving. ...Read more

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Left over cough from bronchitis that's been gone for 2 or 3 weeks, still have the cough. Will a regular cough suppressant work for now?

Left over cough from bronchitis that's been gone for 2 or 3 weeks, still have the cough. Will a regular cough suppressant work for now?

Yes: It's not unusual for a cough to last for 4-6 weeks after a bout of bronchitis. Over the counter cough suppressants are good to take to control your symptoms. Drink plenty of liquids. Honey can help soothe your throat if it becomes inflamed from the coughing. ...Read more

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I have bronchitis and croup but I finished medicine for bronchitis. I still have a barky cough but why? I also feel like coughing on exhale

I have bronchitis and croup but I finished medicine for bronchitis. I still have a barky cough but why? I also feel like coughing on exhale

Cough persists: Even after killing the germs associated with your infection you will have some disturbance in the mucous flow in your lungs. This could last a month. Persistence of a cough that gradually improves is expected. ...Read more

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I very recently recovered from bronchitis and I'm almost back to normal but smoke and dust still makes me cough and irritates my breathing.

I very recently recovered from bronchitis and I'm almost back to normal but smoke and dust still makes me cough and irritates my breathing.

Bronchial recovery: You were treated for an infection but the lining of the breathing tubes in your lungs were damaged. They will recover in time. If you can afford it get a HEPA air filter. It filters the air to 99.97 % clean and don't stay around smokers. You will get better! ...Read more

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Signs of pneumonia? I had a acute bronchitis and after a month I still cough. I only cough in the morning & night other than that I feel fine...

Signs of pneumonia? I had a acute bronchitis and after a month I still cough. I only cough in the morning & night other than that I feel fine...

Persistent cough: Persistent cough can be from a number of conditons, including post-nasal drip, allergies, infection, and acid reflux. If you notice the cough more when you are lying flat (night and morning), you may have acid reflux. I would consider this as a potential for your persistent cough. Viral cough can weeks, even if infection is clear so you may need to just give it more time. Discuss with your PCP ...Read more

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I have had bronchitis since jan 1, been off work I am still coughing, bringing mucus up when I cough. Should I stay off work longer? How much longer?

I have had bronchitis since jan 1, been off work I am still coughing, bringing mucus up when I cough. Should I stay off work longer? How much longer?

Strictly: Speaking you are NOT "contagious" and can return to work. Ask your PCP (Primary Care Provider) for a COUGH SUPPRESSANT since your coughing may make your work contacts uncomfortable and it's not doing you a lot of good at this point!!!
Hope this helps!
Dr ...Read more

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It seems like I have a cold, but the symptoms are in my chest only. I don't have a cough and I'm not wheezing. Could I still have bronchitis?

It seems like I have a cold, but the symptoms are in my chest only. I don't have a cough and I'm not wheezing. Could I still have bronchitis?

Follow up: It is still possible, but cough is a common finding during bronchitis. Most bronchitic infections are caused by viral infections. Pulm virtual consult available to discuss. ...Read more

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This question is in reference to acute bronchitis. I have sharp pains in my chest but no cough. Is this still acute bronchitis?

CP. Bronchitis?: Sharp pains experienced diffusely through the chest with inspiration or coughing could be consistent with acute bronchitis. We would call this a pleuritic type chest pain. However, if this chest pain has remained while the rest of your symptoms have resolved, then you should probably follow up with your local doctor for another evaluation just to be sure. ...Read more

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Dd has bronchitis and asthma. She on a steriod for cough spasms but still having many spells. She is 5. Anything else can help??

Dd has bronchitis and asthma. She on a steriod for cough spasms but still having many spells. She is 5. Anything else can help??

Complex: No easy answer here.
Needs an evaluation to look for allergies, other lung conditions and even acid reflux disease. ...Read more

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Got inhaler for viral bronchitis 3 weeks ago. Started off w 2 puffs 4 times per day for first and deceased. Should I still be using. I still cough.

Got inhaler for viral bronchitis 3 weeks ago. Started off w 2 puffs 4 times per day for first and deceased. Should I still be using. I still cough.

Probably Not: If you aren't wheezing nor having difficulty breathing you can probably safely stop using the inhaler at this point. But keep it handy if the symptoms flare back up. ...Read more

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After the cold I still cough for month do I have bronchitis? If I do what do I do other than go dr. I cough with my troat irritation and lot a mucus

After the cold I still cough for month do I have bronchitis? If I do what do I do other than go dr. I cough with my troat irritation and lot a mucus

Bronchospasm...: This cough is most likely the result of bronchospasm occurring after the initial infection has resolved. This type of cough may require bronchodilator and steroid inhalers. See your doctor so this can be evaluated and treated. ...Read more

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I've been to the doc twice in 2 weeks for bronchitis, but I still really hurt when I cough. Should I be going back in? Going on vacation next week.

I've been to the doc twice in 2 weeks for bronchitis, but I still really hurt when I cough. Should I be going back in? Going on vacation next week.

Painful Cough: It depends how you have been treated so far. A painful cough can be a symptom of pneumonia, bronchitis, tsetse's syndrome (costo-chondritis) and strained inter-costal muscles.

Get another opinion if you don't improve... You may need a chest x-ray or a ct scan. ...Read more

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Girlfriend contracted acute bronchitis from her father two weeks ago. I have not gotten sick. She only has minor cough now, Should I still be worried?

Girlfriend contracted acute bronchitis from her father two weeks ago. I have not gotten sick. She only has minor cough now, Should I still be worried?

Probably not: 90% or more acute bronchitis cases are viral. Cough usually persists days or weeks after infection has cleared. Have gf cover her mouth when she coughs and wash he hands. ...Read more

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My dad has bronchitis is on meds but can't cough anything up and still can't breathe is it pneumonia?

My dad has bronchitis is on meds but can't cough anything up and still can't breathe is it pneumonia?

Could be.: Sometimes the symptoms of pneumonia could look like bronchitis. If your dad is a smoker, diabetic, elderly (70s or 80s), or has COPD or asthma, he's at greater risk of complications from bronchitis (i.e. Developing pneumonia). He needs to see his physician get his lungs listened to again. A chest xray may also help with the diagnosis of pneumonia. Good luck! ...Read more

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I had bronchitis 2 months ago. Cough is better but still have an episode or two daily of short breath and crackling lungs when breathing...Normal?

I had bronchitis 2 months ago. Cough is better but still have an episode or two daily of short breath and crackling lungs when breathing...Normal?

Recovery: Any upper respiratory or lower respiratory infection can cause a prolonged and delayed recovery phase. During this time, it's not unlikely that you might have some periodic mucus or bronchospasm which causes the symptoms you describe. If you haven't done so recently, you need to see md to check you out and possibly do x-ray, etc. ...Read more

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Bronchitis resolve on its own? Took cheratussin, azithromacyn for one week feel better but still sick. 2 wks dry cough. What to help rid mucus? Tips?

Bronchitis resolve on its own? Took cheratussin, azithromacyn for one week feel better but still sick. 2 wks dry cough. What to help rid mucus? Tips?

U can try: Mucinex (guaifenesin) DM for a week. One can get a lingering cough for weeks after an upper respiratory viral infection. It is important to make sure this has not developed into pneumonia.Any fever, chills, sweats, shortness of breath, chest pain, change in sputum would prompt a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia. Good luck ...Read more

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How do I know when my Bronchitis is almost gone? After 3 weeks I still have a dry cough and phlegm every so often and have to use my inhaler at times

How do I know when my Bronchitis is almost gone? After 3 weeks I still have a dry cough and phlegm every so often and have to use my inhaler at times

Cough: The cough from bronchitis can sometimes take over 6 weeks to fully resolve. As long are you are getting better give it time. If you start to get worse, have fevers, or cough up blood then you should get checked out again. If you smoke you need to stop or just get used to coughing... ...Read more

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I was recently dx with bronchitis & pneumonia. Fever free for more than 24 hrs, but I still have a productive cough. Is it okay to go back to work?

I was recently dx with bronchitis & pneumonia. Fever free for more than 24 hrs, but I still have a productive cough. Is it okay to go back to work?

Depends: There is No definitive correct answer here, but your Treating provider would be able to best answer that question. Depending on the time and onset of your symptoms, how many days treatment of antiBx you have had, etc all may play a role in a return to work date. If you work alone, you may be fine, but if you are around many others in a closed space, then a productive cough would be frowned upon. ...Read more

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How long does it take to start feeling better with bronchitis (probably viral)? Steroids have helped reduce the cough but still under the weather!

How long does it take to start feeling better with bronchitis (probably viral)? Steroids have helped reduce the cough but still under the weather!

Depends!: Everyone and every virus is different. Typically symptoms from a virus will resolve within 7-21 days. Cough can remain and take up to 3-4 months to completely resolve. You need to be seen by a doctor if symptoms are not improving or getting worse. You may have more than a virus - tuberculosis, abcess, etc. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
1,212 Doctors shared insights

Bronchitis (Definition)

An inflammation of the mucous membranes of the bronchi. May be caused by either viral or bacterial infections, and is treated with antibiotics, steroids, inhaled bronchodilators, or mucolytics. Bronchitis can ...Read more