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Antibiotic advice please

Janann25 profile image
31 Replies

I was diagnosed with COPD about 5 years ago and, apart from the fact that I’ve not had a lung function test since diagnosis, I’ve coped quite well. I remember writing on this forum about a change in my inhaler but I’m currently using Trelegy Ellipta and have been really well. Unfortunately I developed a sore throat last Saturday and this quickly developed to a lung infection. Having not experienced a lung infection since my diagnosis, I just assumed it would be very mild - as they had been previously - but by Wednesday I was producing copious amounts of horrible muck, getting short of breath and running a temperature of 38C. So I rang the surgery as soon as they opened but by the time my call was answered, there were no appointments left and the best they could offer me was an appointment with a pharmacist the following day. So I managed to drive myself to the pharmacy this morning, where the pharmacist didn’t listen to my chest or check my temperature but just prescribed me Doxycycline, 2x100mg tablets today then I x100mg tablets each day for another 7 days. So far, I still feel really poorly and temperature is 38.1C. Now, Im probably expecting too much but I wondered how long it will take to start to feel better.

Incidentally, I also have an illness called Polymyalgia Rheumatica for which I take Prednisolone so I’ve followed the sick day rules of the PMR forum and have doubled my current dose so am taking 10mg Pred each day.

Sorry for the long rambling post - as I said before, I’m still getting used to COPD infections.

31 Replies
CDPO16 profile image

Hi, it takes about 3 days for antibiotics to start having an effect. After that you should gradually begin to feel better. If you don't after completing the course go back to your surgery. In the meantime if you can, call at your surgery and ask for a sputum sample pot. Should the doxy not be effective, take a sample of your phlegm for testing. Hope you soon feel better, lots of nasty bugs going around at the moment.

Janann25 profile image
Janann25 in reply to CDPO16

thank you so much for your very quick reply. This is the first time that I’ve had a lung infection since being diagnosed so it’s all new to me. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I’m worrying unnecessarily 🤞

sheila1kerry profile image
sheila1kerry in reply to Janann25

i just read your post and was about to respond but you have had a really good response. The first reply i read CDPO16 said it all . Very good advice. All the best .


Janann25 profile image
Janann25 in reply to sheila1kerry

Thank you so much foe your good wishes. My temperature has now dropped from 38C to 37.2C so I think I’m going the right way 🤞

sheila1kerry profile image
sheila1kerry in reply to Janann25

i was in exactly the same position as you and also on doxi’s but struggling with how sick they made me. Then reading your replies i remembered i was supposed to drink a full glassvof water with them - i did that tonight and feel fine - so thank you 💜

Janann25 profile image
Janann25 in reply to sheila1kerry

So pleased I’ve been of help to someone🤣 It’s not nice having this happen is it? I’m starting to improve now but what I find hard with this antibiotic is not being able to have any dairy products for several hours either side of taking it. I take the antibiotic at 8am and that means I can’t have my coffee until about 11am - not a happy bunny😉 🐰

sheila1kerry profile image
sheila1kerry in reply to Janann25

i take mine in the evening having drunk coffee etc all day as i never knew i was supposed to avoid dairy foods. 😱 I drink a huge glass of water with it and now i have no problem at all . Just find what works for you . Please try to stay well and another thing i have learned after 10 years of COPD is to act fast. As soon as you notice your chest is starting to get congested start the steroids and antibiotics . This stops too much damage getting done. Hopefully you will have no more problems.

Happy Xmas

Janann25 profile image
Janann25 in reply to sheila1kerry

Thank you so much for your reply - only two more days of antibiotics so I’ll soon be “back in the old routine” hopefully!! This is the first time I’ve had a lung infection since being diagnosed with COPD four years ago so it took me a while to realise I’d need antibiotics and even longer to get to see a doctor. Hopefully I won’t need them again for quite a while but at least I’ll know what to do!

Patk1 profile image

Have u tested for covid?

Janann25 profile image
Janann25 in reply to Patk1

yes, that was the first thing I did - thankfully all clear!

sassy59 profile image

Like Patk1 I was going to ask if you’d done a covid test. That might be an idea if you haven’t. Hoping you feel much better soon but do contact your surgery if the antibiotics don’t help. Xxx

Lfcpremier profile image

There are some horrible viruses/infections going around,taking 3-4weeks to clear. If you deteriorate you must see a Dr, but hopefully you will start to improve soon. Sputum sample in is ver useful. Good luck!

Bevvy profile image

I have found doxycycline to be a good antibiotic, however when I was first prescribed it I was warned by gp that whilst it should sort out the infection, the antibiotic would also make me feel unwell. It did! However I ate probiotics and yogurt and that seemed to help.

When I have been as unwell as you describe I have required more than one course of antibiotics and steroids. So don’t be surprised if you need more antibiotics. It’s important to contact your gp as initial course of antibiotics comes to the end in case you need more.

Finally it has taken me several weeks to recover from a bad chest infection, even once original infection has gone. Try to eat as healthily as possible fruit and veg being good. And listen to your body and rest when required. It’s already working hard to get rid of infection so unsurprisingly you will feel tired but don’t try to “push through the tiredness” because that can make you worse in the long term.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Janann25 profile image
Janann25 in reply to Bevvy

Thank you so much for your reply - this has been a bit of a shock to the system. I’ve not even had a cold for about 4 years so I suppose I’ve not done too badly. But I’ll definitely contact a doctor again if I don’t improve.

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to Janann25

I understand. Due to Covid restrictions and being part of shielding group I have also been doing well. I contracted a serious infection (pneumonia) pre Covid and was ill for months following that. However as I recovered from that I have been pleased to discover I have avoided colds and even Covid etc for at least 1 1/2 yrs which has helped my lung conditions significantly.

Hope you feel much better soon.

Lol1944 profile image

Chest infections cause lung damage and medication must start immediately. It is for this reason that a rescue pack should always be in your home. Chasing gps and pharmacies is of no use.

Janann25 profile image
Janann25 in reply to Lol1944

This is the first time I’ve had this happen so I didn’t have a rescue pack. Fortunately ( no, I should really say “unfortunately”) I have an autoimmune illness and take steroids each day. So I just followed the “sick day” rules of that forum and had already doubled my dose.

watergazer profile image

Hope you are feeling better soon. It might be wise to do another covid test. I have just finished taking a 2 week course of doxycycline and I only began to feel better in day 10 Do go back to your Gp if not feeling any better in the next few days. Can you get a telephone appointment if face to face ones are taken up quickly ? Take care and do rest. 🤗🤗

peege profile image

Do you have a local Walk in Centre? I was reduced to that a few years ago & was diagnosed with pneumonia. Please don't hesitate to get an appointment to have your chest listened to properly - they can hear all sorts through a stethoscope.

It's your right to have proper medical care especially to avoid future problems - lung damage for one. Thank goodness you were prescribed a decent antibiotic however, it's imperative that you call gp before the course ends if you don't feel any better, still have fever &/or still producing the yukky stuff.....dont get caught out on a weekend when you can't get help. All the best. P

Maricopa profile image

I just recently am getting over a cold I guess. It wasn’t flu, RSV or Covid Dr says. Anyway, it went into my chest and it’s been close to 3 weeks now.

Janann25 profile image
Janann25 in reply to Maricopa

I really hope you feel better soon.

PaulineHM profile image

I feel for you ! It does take time to get to know the signs and symptoms of an exacerbation/flare up of our COPD. Often they come on so slowly that not isn’t always easy to recognise them.

It is worth keeping a symptom diary day to day so any changes are more easily spotted. If your symptoms don’t improve or get worse do see your doctor again for a review.

It is helpful if our COPD flare ups are supported by the medical team but this rarely happens!

Do you have a rescue action plan for managing flare ups ?

Are you drinking plenty of fluids ?

How are you managing your sputum.?

Have you been offered a Pulmonary Rehab course ?

Hope you see some improvement soon.


Janann25 profile image
Janann25 in reply to PaulineHM

Fortunately - or unfortunately really - I have steroids which I take each day for an autoimmune illness so I had increased my dose as soon as I felt unwell

Yes, I’m drinking lots of fluids (always drink a lot of water anyway) and fortunately I’ve had no difficulty in coughing up the muck from my chest. And, strangely enough, I have just been offered a pulmonary rehab course and am just waiting for a place.

Thank you so much for your reply - I think the advice of actual sufferers can be so helpful.

PaulineHM profile image
PaulineHM in reply to Janann25

Sounds like you are on the right track then! Enjoy the PR course, I am sure you will find it really helpful. Be well.

Lol1944 profile image
Lol1944 in reply to PaulineHM

Excellent post

Blueceramics profile image

I think you should continue with Doxycycline until you finish the course. Often with antibiotics I don’t begin to feel better until the 5th day. If you still feel no better after the course do contact your GP again

soulsaver profile image

(In the uk) 6 x 5mg prednisolone per day is usual in COPD to damp down the inflammation that causes the increase in mucous - taken in the morning, so not to affect your sleep, with/after food for 7 days. Check with yr GP/Respiratory Nurse/Pharmacist.

And GPs/ Respiratory nurse should be seeing COPD patients with exacerbations without a wait. They really should be asking for a sputum sample and lab testing it for the correct/best AB.

eta 'best'

Janann25 profile image
Janann25 in reply to soulsaver

Thank you so much for your reply and advice.

I have actually suffered from an autoimmune illness for almost six years so always have a stock of Prednisolone at home and am well used to having to adjust my dose according to the pain. But this is the first time they have been useful for COPD!! But unfortunately, we don’t have a respiratory nurse at my surgery so I have to wait for an appointment with all other patients.

Alberta56 profile image

I hope the doxy soonkicks in. Best wishes.

Usedtodance profile image

it usually takes me a good 10 days the start feeling better ( before I can actually lie flat)and I take 2 weeks abs

bobbyfloyd profile image

i was given doxycycline but could not get on with them at all, made me feel rather unwell so went back on amoxicillin and they helped me a lot.

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