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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18671
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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I am on my second round of antibiotics for a cough that has

Customer Question

I am on my second round of antibiotics for a cough that has lasted almost three months. Tonight I coughed up something that looked like tissue. Your thoughts?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.
It will help if you could provide some further information.
Are you having any symptoms in addition to the cough, such as fever or shortness of breath?
Were you bringing up anything with the cough before tonight?
If so, what color is what has been coughed up?
Do you smoke If so, how many years have you smoked?
Which antibiotics have you taken?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I took a zpack about a month and half ago. Cough subsided but came back with a vengeance Thursday. Now on azithromycin 500 MG. 3rd day.
I don't smoke.
no fever. No other symptoms. No shortness of breath. During first round of coughing some yellowish fleghm but nothing much with second round at all. This was a real surprise. The little piece of tissue is whitish yellow with some flecks of blood. I can feel an area in my throat where it feels like it came from. No pain. Still coughing like crazy. All along cough has felt throat baded and had a sore throat day before yesterday. I have hsd pneumonia before twice. This is not lung base d from those past experience s
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I put the piece of tissue in a plastic bag. Will try to take to an emergency clinic tomorrow to send to a lab I guess. Any suggestions. This whole cough thing has been baffling.
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.
In a non-smoker, since the symptoms have not improved with the azithromycin (the z-pack is a specific packaging of azithromycin), the primary concern if some tissue has been coughed up is that there is some inflammation of the airway or throat.
Smokers can develop a variety of bacterial infections for which stronger antibiotics may need to be considered, but the germs that cause infections in non-smokers are more limited.
There are a couple of options that can be done to help ease the inflammation. The most effective is the use of a short course of steroids, such as prednisone. An antihistamine also may help, although it is not as effective as the steroids, but many antihistamines are available over the counter, so have the advantage of something that can be done before seeing the doctor.
If you were having shortness of breath, then it would be more important to be seen urgently for consideration of steroids. But since you are not having any shortness of breath, then it would be OK to try an antihistamine at home initially.
If I can provide any clarification, please let me know.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I can take an antihystimine now, but do you think I still need to see the doc. again in the am? Or wait until the a few more days for the antibiotic to work fully? Will the antihystimine mask the symptoms?
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
It is reasonable to give the antihistamine along with the antibiotic a couple of days to see if the symptoms improve, unless more significant symptoms develop. Although the antihistamine is not as potent as the steroids, if it helps, it will do so by relieving the inflammation.