Asthma and Chest Infection

Hi everyone,

Hope all is well.

I had to go to the out of hours doctors on Saturday as I had been up all night coughing and started to cough up green marcus my chest also feels very heavy and tight.

The doctor listen to my chest and said the air into my left lung is reduce and that I had a chest infection so did a prescription for clarithromycin 500mg Tabs which I have to take twice a day for a week along with my rescues dose of Pred. I have now been taking these scence Saturday but have not noticed much difference.

So was wondering how long antibiotics take to start working? and how long I should give it before going back a seeing my own doctor!

I am on quite a lot of different asthma medications:

Salbutamol Breath inhaler

Seretide 250 Inhaler

Montelukast 10mg Tablets

Phyllocontin 225mg twice daily

I also keep pred at home incase my peak flow flows below 360 as my personal best is 450. Currently my peak flow is 300 so I am on pred and I have had to up my salbutamol inhaler.

I went to work this morning but was sent home shortly after I got their. When I got home I went to bed and within an hour I was awoken by an asthma attack which I had to take my reliever quite a few times to releve my attack.

I do have a porta neb at home which I used to use but I have no nebules as the doctor has said that a reliever taken with a spacer is just as good as a nebulizer. My reliever does not fit the spacers that I have a aero chamber and and a volumic spacer. So I didn't know if I should try asking him again, I am under an asthma nurse and doctor at my surgery.

I look forward to hearing your suggestions.


20 Replies

  • Rachel

    I would think that the length of time for the antibiotics to start to work will depend on the seriousness of the infection

    keep an eye on the colour of the phlegm you cough up so you know if your coughing is due to the infection or your asthma

    If you only got your antibiotics on Saturday see how the infection is on tuesday, if you feel they have made no difference by then do tell your GP

    I hope you feel better soon

  • Hello everyone,

    I thought I would update you on my chest infection and my asthma.

    I have been taking the antibiotic Clarithromycin 500mg since Saturday and with 30mg of pred which I had to up on Monday to 40mg due to increased breathless as my chest was very tight. I had been coughing up of green phelm overnight. After the asthma attack that I had on Monday morning which took my breath away.

    In the early hours of Tuesday morning I was rudely awoken by my second asthma attack in 24hours, I took 10 puffs of my reliever but I was coughing none stop, was starting to turn blue around the lips and finding it really hard to breath. This really scared. My fiancé was getting really worried about me and was going to call an ambulance which panic me more it took quite along time to overcome this attack. I am really scared of an ambulance having to be called and having to go to hospital as this is this bit I really don't like.

    My peak flow is very up and down again today it is 340 it has been down to 260 in the last few days. My personal best is 450 so hopefully by the end of the week my peak flow should start to go up.

    I am still finding that I am coughing up green phelm and waking up needing my reliever, I am still not feeling great so I may see if I can get a doctors appointment at the end of the week! But at the moment there are fully booked.

    I am going to try and go back to work tomorrow and see how I last.


  • Please, please look after yourself. You're body is telling you that you're not well enough to work, so please stay at home and rest, you need it. I don't think you should wait to the end of the week for an appointment either, go to out of hours if no GP appoinments.

    Also, and more importantly, you must go to a&e or call an ambulance if your lips are turning blueish or you're finding it really hard to breathe and 10 puffs isn't working. You should be more scared of dealing with that at home (as the consequences are potentially fatal) than calling an ambulance/going to a&e where you'll get the help you need.


  • Hello to all again,

    I am still not over my chest infection yet after a week of been on Clarithromycin 500mg and 40mg of Prednislone. My peak flow is still low at 360 which my personal best is 450. But has been below 360 for the last week.

    So I made a doctor appointment for this morning at 8.54am. I went along to my appointment to get checked out to see if it was clearing. The doctor did my peak flow which is still low, she checked my SATS, listened to my chest which she said my breathing sounds on my left side were very reduced. I told her that I has been coughing up quite a lot of green phelm and feeling as if I have no energy to do anything.

    She changed my antibiotics to Co-Amoxiclav 250/125 tablets to be taken 1 three times away for a week then she would review me in a

    week. She said I should continue with 40mg of Prednisolone until my peak flow is more stable and breathing improves and then reduce by 5mg a day to I am of them. She sent me for a chest x-ray at my local hospital which I had this morning and she said I was unfit to work as my immune system is to week as I work with adults with complexed needs.

    I have had some asthma attacks over the week, which resulted in uncontrollable coughing, chest tightness and I was starting to turn blue around my lips. I took ten puffs of my reliever but it took quite along time for my breathing to become my controlled again. This really scared me and my fiancé was getting really worried about me and was going to call an ambulance which panic me more it took quite along time to overcome this attack. I am really scared of an ambulance having to be called and having to go to hospital as this is this bit I really don't like.

    Sue the doctor has told me that if this happens again that either the out of hours doctors should be rung or an ambulance should be rung for. So I will just have to take her advice.

    Thank you for reading my post and I look forward to hearing from you.


  • Hi Rachel,

    Sorry you're still struggling but hopefully the new antibiotics will help, I find co-qmoxiclav good on my regular chest infections.

    I will just say (without trying to panic you) that if your lips are turning blue during an attack you need to call an ambulance.

    Don't worry about doing this, I used to and now I have to call them fairly regularly and I can't tell you how great they are. Paramedics only (in my experience) get anoyed with people who call ambulances fir silly things. And asthmatic with blue lips is not q silly call out!!!

    Take care xxxx

  • Evening everyone,

    Hope you are all having a good evening. Thank you to all those have read and replied to my post.

    I am of to the doctors again tomorrow as I am still coughing a lot and my peak flow is still down, still no energy and not feeling 100%.

    I am due to finish my second course of antibiotics(co-amoxiclav 250/125) on Friday so I was hoping I would feel better by now! I am still taking my pred at 40mg as peak flow still low and left side still feels weak. I am still having to wake up and use my reliever inhaler and if I lay on my left side this starts me coughing again as does getting up and moving around after I have being sitting down for some time.

    I spoke to asthma uk today and they said the medication that I was on all the right medication for my asthma/ chest infection she said that I most get recheck as the infection should have started to clear up by now.

    I am really worried what the doctor will say tomorrow as I still do not feel great, but do not really want to be sign of again and I do not know what she will say.

    So really no looking forward to tomorrow as I am not to keen on this doctor, but I know I have to see the doctor again.


  • Good luck with the appoinment.

  • Afternoon everyone,

    I have just been for a follow up review on my chest infection/ asthma this morning at my local doctors surgery.

    The doctor listen to my chest again and side the sounds on my left side were still reduced due to the bad infection, she did my SATS which she said were borderline and she took my peak flow which was 420. She asked me if I had finish my second course of antibiotic yet, I said I have 3 more tablets to take until there were finished, she said that she was going to prescribe me a further of coamoxiclav 250/125mg and if this did not work I would need to go into hospital for IV antibiotics which I am not to keen on. She said that I was still unfit to work and signed me off for a further week.

    She told to keep taking my asthma meds that I was continually on and with prednisolone and if I was felt worst that I most make a emergency appointment at the doctors and will end up needing to go to hospital.

    I am thinking about getting my own SATS finger monitor but do not know which one to buy?

    Has anyone got any idea how long it takes to have iv antibiotics and what to expect?


  • Hi Rachel :) I.V antibiotics will work much more effectively at sorting out your infection. I have 500mg co amoxiclav for infections and if that doesn't work I have IV antibiotics. All hospitals vary in the length of treatment - my old general hospital I would have to fight for 4 days of IV's and would just end up getting re admitted because they didnt treat me for long enough. Now I go to Papworth (heart and lung hospital) I have 14 days of IV antibiotics but I'm fortunate enough that as long as they agree that I'm not too ill, I can do my own IV's at home. That's what I did this month. They really should improve your infection rapidly - they are huge doses compared to orally and are better absorbed. I have little doubt that you will feel much better :)

    Lynda x

  • Hello Guys if you have any doubt about Asthma and Chest Infection then you need to check your disease to the professional doctor,he can do some test to see if it is allergic reactions , bronchial asthma or another cause.Asthma can be a very risky condition if not handled.Thanks a lot!!

  • Evening everyone,

    Hope all is not to bad?

    I thought would update you on my chest infection which is affecting my asthma.

    I am on my co-amoxiclav 250/125mg which I started last Friday this is my third course of antibiotics one straight after the other. The doctor has said this is the last course of antibiotics that she would be able to give me orally that I would have to go into hospital for IV antibiotics.

    So told me I could start to reduced my Prednisolone by 5mg a day which I have started to do, I am not do to 25mg pred in the morning. As I am reducing the Pred it is harder and more painful to breath.

    I booked an appointment to go back a see the doctor for the 29/11 to have a check up on asthma/chest infection to see if I feeling better, she said if I am feeling no better after the weekend I must come back sooner!

    I am still coughing a lot and brining up green/yellow and sometimes it is white mucus and my left side is feeling weak and it is painful to breath. I am feeling really tired with no energy not wanting to do much.


    I wake up with a coughing fit with hurts my chest and affects my breathing I take my reliever which helps.

    I take my Prednisolone, Co-amoxiclav, Seretide 250, Phyllocontin 225mg with food

    Then my coughing seems not to be to bad until about mid afternoon when my cough starts to return and continue into the evening.


    I take my phyllocontin 225mg along with my Co-amoxiclav along with food. I also take Seretide 250, Montalukast 10mg. I take my inhalers though a spacer.

    I up in the early hours of my morning needing my reliever.

    I am feeling no better then I was 2 1/2 weeks ago so I am going back to the doctors tomorrow to see what can be do. I just want to be able to get red off the chest infection and get my asthma uncontrolled again and get back to work.

    I will let you know how I get on.

    Sorry for the long post and thank you for reading.


  • Hi Rachel. Sorry to hear you're not feeling any better. I have a chest infection that seems to be lingering too (although 10 days so far). I've been taking my pred first thing in the morning and my pf has been slowly rising and symptoms decreasing til about lunchtime early afternoon and then pf slowly dipping/symptoms getting worse which sounds similar to you. I'd wondered if I was being a bit weird.

    I hope you can get an appointment first thing and although you might end up having to go in for IV antibs it's prob the best wayof getting over this. Hope you feel better soon. x

  • Evening everyone,

    I went to the doctors this morning about my asthma/ chest infection and feeling no better.

    I explained to the doctor that I was feeling no better and that I was still coughing a lot and bringing up phelm which is yellowy green in colour and sometime it was white in colour. I explained to him about my medication routine and the time of the day when my cough was at it's worst.

    He then listen to my chest and took my Sats again which were at 98% the morning. He said that my chest X-ray results were back and that they were all fine and that the pain I am feeling is due to a pulled muscle due to the coughing.

    He said it sounded like whooping cough that can last up to 3 months and prescribed some cough mixture, to take along with pred which I am slowly reducing by 5mg a day. and antibiotics. I have been signed off until Friday but I have read about it in my medical book and looked it up on the internet.

    I really do not think it is whooping cough as the symptoms do not fit and if it is highly contagus should I really be going back to work on Friday to work with adults with a low immue system?

    I had all my jabs as a baby and have had whooping cough as a child. I am now 27 years old.

    I have a doctors appointment booked for Thursday for second opinion.


  • Rachel please don`t go to work too soon for your own sake as well as others

    because you could pick up other illness` while your health is at such a low

    You have been very poorly for a long time now, don`t be nervous about attending the hospital if it means a speedy recovery

    I do hope you feel better soon

  • Hello everyone,

    Thank you for all your replies.

    I am still coughing a lot and have now now pulled a muscle in my chest though all the coughing. It is really starting to get me down and I want to be back to my normal self again. I am still bringing up phelm with at times a yellowy colour but at times it is white in colour. I am really worn out and I am due to go back to work on Friday as this is when my sick note runs out.

    I had a emergency appointment on Monday just gone as I was feeling no better. He said it sounded very much like whooping cough and would take up to three months to clear up and that I could go back to work on Friday. I read in medical book and on the internet that whooping cough is highly contagious I am really unsure if I should be going to work and working with adults with very low immue systems and complexed needs. He sent me away with some cough mixture.

    I am going to see a doctor tomorrow morning for a second opinion as I really do not think I have whooping cough as my symptoms do not match the ones that are listed in the medical book or internet and why if it is so contagious is it safe for me to go to work?

    I am down to 5mg of pred tomorrow and 1 day of antibiotics left and still not feeling great and I'm greating really feed up. I still feel chesty when I am coughing and my asthma is still up and down. Peak flow is still like mountain peaks. I am unsure what the next step/ treatment is for chest infection? and what if the doctor agrees it is whooping is their any treatment for an adult with whooping cough?

    Thank you for all your support.


  • Hi

    I can totally sympathise! My chest has been a pain since the beginning of November. Initially I managed with the Symbicort SMART regime but then needed to start Prednisiolone; I've just completed a total of 14 days steroids. Now off SMART, on Symbocort 400/12 2 puffs twice a day, Montelukast and Theophylline.

    Had a week of Amoxicillin for infection, no better so have seen GP again and now on Doxycycline. Still no better though, so sick of coughing, it gives me a massive headache. Totally fed up cos feel like I've wasted most of November!

    Fingers crossed everyone improves real soon!

    Take care everyone

  • Don't know much about whooping cough, sorry, other than I remember my sister having it as a child. It doesn't sound like you're ready for work at all with asthma and chest still playing up. I hope the appoinment goes well today and let us know how you get on. x

  • Hi Rachel. I am so sorry to hear about the problems you have been having for some time now. I too had similar symptoms from the early Spring until the end of Summer. I had one chest infection after the other with all the symptoms you describe, which I have never experience the like of before in the intensity (particularly the copious green phlem). It was during the second infection that a friend said that I should consider the possibility that I have Whooping Cough. She had just been diagnosed with it (breaking ribs because of the coughing fits!) and another friend of mine had also been in fear for her life because of the terrible breathing problems she was having. The hospital was reluctant to consider that she might have Whooping Cough and insisted it was asthma. Eventually they did a blood test and were ashamed to admit that she did indeed have Whooping Cough! As I am sure you know from your research there is the biggest epidemic for 50 years in the USA and also Australia is experiencing something similar. Sadly the antibiotics do not cure Whooping Cough they simply stop you from being infectious. The cough is called the 100 day cough. This does not help you with your underlying problems with asthma of course. BUT if you indeed do have Whooping Cough it is an EXTREMELY infectious disease. You must get the right antibiotic to deal with the problem of you possibly passing it on. For myself I am still recovering from treatment for cancer so the past year has been awful. Please check out which is run by an ex GP who has taken a special interest in Whooping Cough.

    Wishin you well

  • Why is your GP treating you with the same antibiotic endlessly when it clearly isnt working for you? Has he sent off a sputum sample for culture to ensure he is giving you the correct antibiotic? What happened to considering intravenous antibiotics? I am completely flummoxed that he is telling you to go to work with whooping cough, I despair at the advise some GP's dish out.. why hasnt she increased your antibiotics to 500mg doseage? (which I take)

    Its possible your pain is pleurisy given that you have had lengthy infection - its not uncommon when you have a chest infection and hurts like hell when you cough and breathe!

    I hope someone sorts you out properly soon, bless you. It really doesnt sound like you should be returning to work :(


  • Hi everyone,

    I thought I would update you all on my visit to the doctors this morning.

    I went to see the same doctor as I saw last Thursday who rechecked my Sats which are now up to 99%, checked my peak flow which is now back to my personal best and listen to my chest again which all sounds clear now, so after three courses of antibiotic I am on my way to recovery.

    I told her that the doctor I saw on Monday said it was whooping cough, she said after a bad chest infection it can appear like whooping cough will take up to 100 days to go. (the 100 day cough). I am still coughing quite a lot with some white phelm and still very tired.

    She told me to take 15mg of prednisolone daily for a week then reduced to 10mg for a week and then 5mg for a week and to up my reliever to help with chest and coughing and to take paracetomol to help with the pulled chest muscle. To keep taking seretide 250, montulukast 10mg and phyllocontin 225mg twice a day.

    She said I can return to work tomorrow but to take it easy. She said my immue system will take a bit of time to build back and to keep an eye on the asthma.

    Thank you for all your messages of support.


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