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I have suffered from a severe cough for around 4 weeks during which I cough up a load of phlegm white clear phlegm, I went to the doctors twice and got steroids and anti biotics with no avail, then got hospitalised last week for 2 nights and an asthma diagnosis, I then got more steroids antibiotics a preventer and steroid inhaler. I have been out the hospital for 9 days and my condition is still here although now it has developed into me coughing up and now actually vomiting phlegm! I don't know why, sometimes I have food in my vomit though mostly phlegm ! this is now going into my 5th week and can't cope! I also take anti actors lansoprole please help - Asked by a P on 30-Oct-2014 06:55:04

Answer Count: 2    

  • Internal Medicine

    Answered by Dr. Suneel Vallabhaneni on 30-Oct-2014 08:53:25

    Hi, if you have never smoked, never been diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or asthma before this illness and x rays during your admission to the hospital did not reveal any obvious pneumonia - then the symptoms you are describing might be due to pertussis or whooping cough. The usual treatment is azithromycin in the beginning of the illness along with strong cough suppressants. Symptoms can last for 3 wks to 3 months if it is pertussis. The other things that need to be excluded is chronic sinusitis with post nasal drip (some thing dripping behind your nose when you lay down on bed). Some times, heart failure can also manifest as cough but you would feel more short of breath if it is heart failure along with weight gain and feet swelling.
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  • Answered by Dr. on 30-Oct-2014 09:48:12


    Since you are on lansoprazole, I guess you have reflux esophagitis, which is probably getting worse with the steroids. You did not mention fever or purulent (foul smelling) sputum, therefore infection as a cause of cough is not possible. Also, cough and wheeze can be induced with aspiration of acid through reflux and most probably confused with asthma. If you control reflux, I guess your cough would subside. You can consider following measures: reduce weight, diet control (avoid spicy, oily food), avoid bending or lying flat, raise head end of bed. If necessary increase your drug dose and taper steroid dosage and stop asthma medications. If necessary discuss these issues with your doctor.

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