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A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16285
Experience:  Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
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Coughing with bronchospasms for five weeks. Feel a little tired.

Customer Question

I have seen a doctor and have been prescribed with Predinsone, Qvar 80mcg, Albuteral, Nasonex, Chest x-ray came out ok. I have been coughing with bronchospasms for five weeks. Feel a little tired but not sick. Coughing bad in the morning tapers off and none in the afternoon. I am about 30 lbs. overweight, was doing exercise for 2 to 3 times per day, have had problems with heartburn. Drink beer on the regular basis.

Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 9 months ago.

I see that you have been prescribed Predinsone, Qvar 80mcg, Albuteral, and Nasonex and that your "chest xray turned out okay."

I also see that you have been having bronchospasms that taper off as the day goes on.

When were you prescribed the drugs?

What was the diagnosis given?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Prednisone last week on Wednesday finished on Monday. Albuteral last week on Wednesday. Nasonex and Qvar two weeks ago. Not sure if an actual diagnosis was given.

First I was told I have an ear infection but I have had no fever or ear pain. Then I was told it was remnants of a viral infection.

The prednisone almost relieved my symptoms, but as soon as I finished them the symptoms came back.

Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 9 months ago.

Those medications are usually prescribed for asthma or COPD (chronic bronchitis/emphysema). They can also be prescribed short term (several weeks) to clear up lung problems of unknown origin.

Prednisone is a potent anti-inflammatory. It should have cleared up the inflammation within a period of a couple weeks. It's sad that the improvement didn't last. The Qvar and Nasonex should work over time to clear up the rest of the symptoms within the next month or so.

It's great that the x-ray was clear since that means no pneumonia, fungal or other infection, or TB.

Does the coughing get worse when you exercise?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I haven't tried, Dr told me to take it easy. The prednisone was a six day pack going from six pills first day to one on the last day.I don't have any problems breathing other than when I try to take a deep breath. I did have a cold before all this started.
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 9 months ago.

The cold may have just stirred things up. One other thing to consider is that alcohol is known to make people's allergies and asthma worse, and can even trigger anaphylaxis in some asthmatics. It isn't known whether it is the alcohol itself or other ingredients in the beverage. It seems to be universal among types of alcohol (beer, wine, spirits). You might consider giving up the beer for a couple of weeks and see if that helps with the symptoms. Once you are better, you could try some again and see if it causes a problem.

I've seen several cases this autumn of people who've never had asthma before get asthma-type symptoms that took several weeks to go away. Once they did, the patients were able to wean off their inhalers.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

How long is it safe to take the inhalers? Also when I cough in the mornings and sometimes during the day I get a metal taste in my mouth almost like blood. I don't spit out blood but there are very small streaks I can see, not sure if it is blood or not.

Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 9 months ago.

It is safe to use the inhalers forever if they are needed. That is what people with asthma and COPD have to do. The metallic taste can be from the inhalers. Significant coughing can also cause some blood. The tissues are very vascular and bleed easily. It should stop as the amount of coughing decreases. You should see your doctor again within the next month or so. If you aren't better, he or she will probably send you to a pulmonary specialist.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

If it is a post viral infection should it clear up on its own?

Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 9 months ago.

The viral infection should clear up on its own. The coughing may just be from residual irritation and inflammation. Those should clear up, but it may take a while (2-3 weeks).

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

At this point it feels like just a chest problem and coughing in the morning. I don't feel any congestion or sinus problems.

Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 9 months ago.

The infection that started this all probably has cleared up. It can take longer for the inflammation though.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Anything I can do to help eliminate the inflammation?

Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 9 months ago.

You are doing it already. That is what the inhalers are for.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What about prednisone. Is it safe to try a longer dosage?
This almost cleared things up for me to the point where the taste of metal was eliminated, no coughing or wheezing in the morning. But it only lasted two days.
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 9 months ago.

It's best not to try prednisone again now, but to wait it out and see if everything gets better with just the inhalers. If you aren't better in a couple of weeks, that would be time to consider another prednisone taper.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Ok thank you. Appreciate your time. I have no more questions.

Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 9 months ago.

You're so very welcome.