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How long should cough last after chest infection?

I've recently had two courses of antibiotics for a chest infection that I couldn't get rid of. Finished last course a week ago. Phlegm colour has improved from yellow to clear, horrible nasal congestion has finally dried up, but I still have a cough. I am taking two extra puffs of Seretide per day as instructed by doctor. I took steroids before the antibiotics which opened the lungs but didn't affect the cough. Will the cough clear up in time? I feel that I'm never patient enough. Peak flow is normal.

How long does it take your cough to clear up after an infection? I accept it could have all been a horrible virus.

5 Replies

Unfortunately coughs can take weeks to go away after an exacerbation or chest infection, especially with these recent viruses. As long as you are improving generally and your doctor is happy with your progress it is a case of simply giving it time and it should go by itself.

1 like

Thanks for the advice Beth 😊 I will try to be patient!


No problem, it is certainly easier said then done. It took about six months for my cough to go away after my exacerbation in 2016, but they were very severe attacks and infections.

If you do get worried that your cough isn't going away in a reasonable time frame, I would talk to your doctor about it, sometimes the medical reassurance is needed :)


Hi I have asthma and mild copd and being a smoker I could cough for up to 2 months after a chest infection. I got one after giving up smoking and the cough lasted around 2 weeks afterwards.

Those of us with damaged lungs will take longer to recover. x


My longest asthma attack and cough lasted 10weeks and ended up in A@E on a nebuliser, 4 weeks of steroids. What antibiotics have you had? There is only 1 that’s works for me.


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