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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content


Have a bad cough going on a week but no fever or sneezing, body lil. Sore , too mucin x , now just night quill at night it gets worse what can I take to help
  • Male | 33 years old
  • Complaint duration: 7 days
  • Medications: Mucinx , night quill

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Featured Answer

3 UpVoted this answer Patrick T. Fitzgerald, MD, FAAP Internist, Oconomowoc Craig Johnson, MD Internal Medicine, San Francisco
MOst viral infections are self-limited and need no treatment. The more symptom relievers you take, eg. Mucinex, Theraflu, Tylenol, etc. the longer the symptoms persist. The human body gets rid of the infection by coughing, raising body temperature and causing fatigue so that the patient rests. The more you fight the symptoms, the longer the disease persists. The best treatment for cough is to breathe steam ( in the shower) or use a simple remedy like honey or tea to stop the tickle in the throat. Antibiotics have no effect on viruses such as flu or colds. If your mucous is too thick to cough up, increase fluids.
2 UpVoted this answer Craig Johnson, MD Internal Medicine, San Francisco
I put little faith in Mucinex and Nyquil. As said by Dr. Kryger below, I favor simple remedies such as a humidifier or hot tea with honey. As you have body aches, you might have the flu although I would think you'd have more of a fever. Even if this is the case, you should be over the flu soon and I would still be recommending the hot tea and honey. If you are steadily getting worse or if you start getting worse after initially getting better, see your doctor.
1 UpVoted this answer Craig Johnson, MD Internal Medicine, San Francisco
If you can purchase a Vick vapo steamer and their liquid vapor cough solution - not the pads, run all night long next to your bed and cough will stop. Also, if you can make it to a health food store that sells Highlands, Bioplazma (12 constituent cell salts), take 4 tablets under tongue until melted every 15 minutes until you feel better (up to 8 times) and three times a day for 3 days following. Others may of these together will quickly clear out what you have. It works fast. Stay on the Bioplazma cell salts 2 times a day all year around and you won't get colds a d flu. They are nothing more than minerals delivered homeopathic into your cells.
Sharon Brennan
1 UpVoted this answer Craig Johnson, MD Internal Medicine, San Francisco
You should go do a check-up with your primary care Physician......then you can determine what to do next after diagnosing what the true cause of what your problem is....Amen??!!
1 UpVoted this answer Craig Johnson, MD Internal Medicine, San Francisco
Go into your herb and spice cabinet and pull out the one called THYME. Put 1 tsp into 6 ounces of boiling water (not microwaved) and let simmer 3-5 minutes. Strain off and start sipping on the hot tea. Should help tremendously with the cough. Take as needed. Stay in bed and get rest. This coughing thing seems to last about 8 days for people as long as they stay in bed and get the rest they need. Just eat light -- chicken soup/broths, etc.and get better quick!
1 UpVoted this answer Craig Johnson, MD Internal Medicine, San Francisco
If you must take medication to live with the symptoms, I prefer to use only expectorants because coughing is your body's way of telling you it's trying to get rid of something. If you suppress the cough, then whatever you need to get rid of just stays with you and continues to cause irritation and infection. Expectorants (guaifenesin) helps your body move the bad stuff out more efficiently. It is also a very good idea to visit your chiropractor when you've had a bad cough for a few days. The coughing can cause small spinal misalignments that hinder the nerve supply to your lungs. This makes your cough less effective which makes you tend to cough harder. It can also cause irritation to the nerves leading to your lungs which signals you to cough even more. Poor nerve supply hinders the healing process by virtue of continued irritation as well as the fact that spinal misalignment also reduces immune function. It will probably take more than one chiropractic visit by the time this illness runs its course. The respiratory viruses that have been going around this year have been lasting longer than usual, three to six weeks for some people. The intensity of the symptoms should be reduced within 10 days of the onset. If they aren't, you should consider the possibility of a secondary infection. The herbs goldenseal and pau d'arco are often effective for this and can usually be found in combination at most health food stores. Just ask!
Jana L.Scott
1 UpVoted this answer Craig Johnson, MD Internal Medicine, San Francisco
You have options. If you think you are gradually improving, continue with your over the counter meds, and make sure you are drinking extra amounts of fluid which will help to mobilize your secretions. However, if you feel like you are getting worse, visit a primary care doctor. There are things that can be done to help you; without an examination, we cannot be sure you are not wheezing, as you might need treatment. You are on the borderline where I would tell most patients to come and be seen if not improving. Even viral respiratory infections can cause a cough that persists up to three weeks, but clearly, if you are getting worse, see a physician soon. I do not recommend antihistamines for coughs as they may actually cause your mucous to become thicker and make them harder to bring up with your cough.
John G. Van Derwood
It appears you had a recent cold. It is not uncommon to have some inflammation of the lungs after a viral infection. If the cough is persistent, you might need to be tested by a physician to evaluate for any wheezing. You might need an inhaler with bronchodilator to relieve the congestion. If the congestion is severe, which might suggests asthmatic cough , you might also need a short course of steroids by mouth.
Mix the herb comfrey and mullein, then add honey, This mixture generally clears up resistant coughs due to respiratory ailments or bronchitis.
Margaret Bailey
Chlorpheniramine (which can be found over the counter) is a very good cough suppressant. Should the cough continue beyond 10-14 days, an evaluation for allergies, atypical infections, or other causes is indicated.
Marlow Hernandez