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TheGermDoctor, Doctor
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1664
Experience:  17 years as a physician, Board Certified in both Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine.
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I've had cold/flu symptoms for over a month. What to do?

Resolved Question:

I've had flu/cold symptoms for over a month now. It's not getting any better. I have chest pain from what I believe is from all the coughing. What should or can I do? I've tried antibiotics and it doesn't help. I have excessive mucus in the back of my throat as well.

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  TheGermDoctor replied 7 years ago.


What specific symptoms do you have now?

Cough (I see you said you do - but is it increasing?) Sputum?

Sore throat? nasal drip? sinus tenderness? runny nose?

What antibiotics have you been on?

Have you had a chest x-ray or sputum culture?

How old are you? Any underlying health problems? Any medications?

Have you had chest problems/pneumonia before?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Headache, fatigue, cough, clear phlegm. I was coughing constantly however that has gotten better - I get it in spurts, no soar throat, definite runny nose. I've been on amoxicillan 500 mg twice a day for 10 days. No x-rays done or culture. I am 27, no other health problems, no medications, no chest problems or pneumonia before.

Expert:  TheGermDoctor replied 7 years ago.

OK. I would say a couple things:

First, if you have had symptoms that have not gotten better for a month, that would merit a bit more investigations, starting with a chest x-ray, to check for pneumonia and any complications (eg. fluid around your lung) and some basic blood work like a blood count.

Also, in the United States between 1/4 to 1/3 of the most common bacteria that causes a bacterial pneumonia is now resistant to amoxicillin, so while it is an OK first line choice of antibiotic, there are certain people who will not respond and need other antibiotics.

Having said that, the most likely explanation is you have a post-infectious cough- a form of airway hyperactivity that continues after an infection. This is like a form of asthma that comes on with an infection and carries on. I often treat this with inhalers - inhaled steroids and "bronchodilators"- puffers like "ventolin". You also may benefit from some anti-histamines or decongestants for your other airway symptoms.

I would recommend you follow up with your doctor (or an infectious diseases doctor) for these tests and recommendations.

I hope that helps. Always ask if you need clarification/more information.

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