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Ask Dr. Davidson Your Own Question
Dr. Davidson
Dr. Davidson, Board Certified Pediatrician
Category: Pediatrics
Satisfied Customers: 1058
Experience:  Board Certified Specialist in Pediatrics, Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
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My daughter has had a dry cough that seems to be getting worse

Customer Question

My daughter has had a dry cough that seems to be getting worse everyday. It especially bad when she is trying to go to sleep at night but is also bad during the day. It's been going on strong now for at least 10 days. She is on her 4th day on azithromycin and she is not getting better and is getting no relief. Could this be whooping cough and how will I know if it is? Anything i should do to try to help her? She usually can't fall asleep until about 3 am from the coughing which makes her very restless and uncomfortable but once she falls asleep she doesn't cough again until she wakes up which is usually around 2 pm.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Pediatrics
Expert:  Dr. Davidson replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, I'm happy to help. It sounds like this cough is due to either a post-nasal drip or possibly asthma-related symptoms. Does your daughter have a history of either condition?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No asthma. But she has gotten post nasal drip a lot in the past, but not very frequently anymore. It mainly just happened frequently when she was younger, but since she has grown, it hardly happens anymore. About 2 weeks before the cough started, she did have head congestion with a little bit of runny nose but it only lasted about 2 days and it went away and she had no further problems so we didn't do anything. Then around the 14th the dry cough started and she has been coughing ever since. She does get a few break up coughs with mucus in the mornings, but not many and it becomes more and more dry and troublesome after she wakes up and continues throughout the day. This bad cough continues all day long and into the evenings when she is trying to fall asleep. I'm worried about this being whopping cough? Any suggestions about this being whopping cough and if it's not, do you think she is on the wrong type of antibiotic since she has not improved and today is the 4th day on azithromycin. The cough is making her feel really bad.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also, the odd thing is that between the onset of the congestion about 2 weeks ago and the dry cough starting, she did not notice or feel any obvious post nasal drip. Also, the congestion she had only lasted about 2 days and went away and she was completely fine in between. Then, out of the blue, the dry cough started with no other symptoms and has been getting worse and more frequent since it started and hasn't improved any (just getting worse) since it started about 9 days ago.
Expert:  Dr. Davidson replied 1 year ago.
At this point it's too early to say it's whooping cough, and the time between the viral symptoms and the coughing is a bit short for that diagnosis. Azithromycin is helpful for whooping cough, but only if given very early on in the process, and not once the cough starts.
The timing seems very consistent with a post-viral bronchitis, a condition that mimics asthma quite a bit. The cough tends to arise within 1-2 weeks of a viral infection, and can linger for weeks sometimes. The typical treatment is to select a controller inhaler, typically one like Dulera, Symbicort or Advair, using two puffs twice daily for about two weeks. These inhalers deliver medications to the lungs, where they reduce swelling/inflammation, and this leads to decreased mucous production and decreased cough.
I'd highly recommend seeing a physician for one of these inhalers, and with consistent use over a two week period I'd bet she'd improve quite a lot.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Davidson replied 1 year ago.
Happy to help. If you're satisfied with the consultation please click accept to close the interaction. Thanks.