12 doctors weighed in:

My mom has had bronchitis for 2 weeks. Takung antibiotics, sterouds, robitussin (guaifenesin). She feels better but a loose phlegmy cough persists. Is this normal?

12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Keegan Duchicela
Family Medicine
5 doctors agree

In brief: Could be.

Bronchitis, which could definitely hang around for 2-3 weeks, is mainly a viral illness.
Meaning, antibiotics do squat. Chances are, your mom (as long as she's healthy, non-smoker, not asthmatic or diabetic), would have taken this long to improve regardless of antibiotics. If she's starting to get fevers again, muscle aches, chills, that's different and she should get examined by her doctor.

In brief: Could be.

Bronchitis, which could definitely hang around for 2-3 weeks, is mainly a viral illness.
Meaning, antibiotics do squat. Chances are, your mom (as long as she's healthy, non-smoker, not asthmatic or diabetic), would have taken this long to improve regardless of antibiotics. If she's starting to get fevers again, muscle aches, chills, that's different and she should get examined by her doctor.
Dr. Keegan Duchicela
Dr. Keegan Duchicela
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Dr. Amrita Dosanjh
Pediatrics - Pulmonology
3 doctors agree

In brief: If cough persists,

If the cough persists for three weeks or longer, she should be re-evaluated.
Some complications of bronchitis include pneumonia. If your mom has a fever, cough, chest pain or difficulty breathing, she may be developing pneumonia. Sinusitis and reflux may also cause a prolonged cough. It is positive that she feels better. This will likely resolve in a few more days and she should feel much better.

In brief: If cough persists,

If the cough persists for three weeks or longer, she should be re-evaluated.
Some complications of bronchitis include pneumonia. If your mom has a fever, cough, chest pain or difficulty breathing, she may be developing pneumonia. Sinusitis and reflux may also cause a prolonged cough. It is positive that she feels better. This will likely resolve in a few more days and she should feel much better.
Dr. Amrita Dosanjh
Dr. Amrita Dosanjh
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Dr. Sue Ferranti
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Sometimes...

Sometimes, bronchospasm can last longer than the acute bronchitis.
This may require bronchodilator and even steroid inhalers until the cough completely resolves. Your mother should see her doctor again so the cough can be diagnosed and treated. If she is smoking, she needs to quit and her doctor can help with this also. Good luck!

In brief: Sometimes...

Sometimes, bronchospasm can last longer than the acute bronchitis.
This may require bronchodilator and even steroid inhalers until the cough completely resolves. Your mother should see her doctor again so the cough can be diagnosed and treated. If she is smoking, she needs to quit and her doctor can help with this also. Good luck!
Dr. Sue Ferranti
Dr. Sue Ferranti
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