British Lung Foundation
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Rescue Meds? I was in Uk for 3 weeks over Christmas and New Year. Had an exacerbation of COPD and went on rescue meds, 500g amoxicillin

3 times aday and prednisolone 5mg, 6 tablets a day. The infection did not clear and I went to the doc in France today. She said those levels of meds were for children and wasn't surprised they hadn't worked. Prescribed cefpodoxime 200mg morning and evening and 70mg of prednisolone a day. What are the usual levels of rescue meds? I weigh 95 kilos. She said steroids related to weight.

When I go back to UK for a week next month should I tell my GP what the French doc said?

18 Replies


A full course is normally 8 x 5mg....40mg for 10 days.

After a 3 day hospital stay I was given 5 x 5mg for 5 days.

A few weeks ago I had a mild flare up a took 5 x 5mg for 5 days and the final 3, one day.

I would mention what you have taken whilst abroad if only to update your records.

Different doctors, different climate, different ideas?

Did you fell better?


Hi personally Amoxicillin does not work for me I have Clarithromycin when I get a flare up and Azithromycin 3 times a week at other times. I have never had more than 40mg per day of prednisolone but others will probably be along soon who have had more.

Why not bring your medication with you next time just in case you get another flare up whilst here, and hope you do not need it.

polly xx

1 like

40mg max per day for me too. My latest infection was just 30mg plus amoxycillin. My weight was less on the 40mg than it was on the 30mg...


Probably ask the French doc to prescribe you rescue meds when you are going to visit UK. :)

I just get what doc prescribes, if it doesn't work go back straight away. Not all patients are prescribed same dose or same medicine. For some amoxicillan doesn't work, for other it does. Prednisolone dose prescribed may vary from patient to patient.


Rescue meds are a 'best guess' kind of thing based on what you normally produce in the way of bugs and what doseage normally works - ie the minimum necessary to do the job. If the infection did not clear where it would normally have done on that dose, you probably had a different bug which didn't respond to amoxicillin. Unless you had samples taken and analysed before and after antibiotic use you wouldn't know. Your french dr rightly changed you to a different drug which was known to cover different bugs than ammox. Ammox may be a drug which is used often for children but I used to take it as drug of choice for many years as an adult and it worked fine.

Prednisolone prescriptions, I've had all sorts of numbers relating to dose/days/reducing etc. As stone says Drs seem to have their own favourite ways.

Generally I would want to know if the bugs in my lungs have changed so would ask for a sample analysis when I have a flare up, before I take my meds. But this may be difficult if you are working between two drs in two countries.


For many many many years I was on amoxicillin, when 500 no longer worked I has 3gram satchets twice a day and that worked for a long time...but now that has failed to work and I am on co-amoxiclav 625 mg tabs for 14 days. These 'seem' to work but I am not totally sure, has anyone else traveled this route, and what is the next 'stronger' antibiotic they can give? the worry is ( as I am sure it is with most of you) is am I becoming resistant to antibiotics? I have been on them for several decades. Also I would like to know if any of you have found a stronger antibiotic which I could ask for? if the co-amoxiclav does not work

Thanks Sohara


Is it us who become resistant or the bugs?


good question


Bugs can become resistant to antibiotics, particularly if you don't complete the course and miss some little blightersl. Your gp chooses another ab when this happens. There are lots of abs and gp's have their favourites they use as first choice. Others they keep up their sleeve for the really bad bugs.

If an ab has failed, my gp sends in a sputum sample to find out what little horrors are causing the problem - this will also give her a list of suitable drugs. I want her to give me the best, 'common' drug to deal with it as I know I need to keep the big strong ones for later on. Don't want my bugs to become resistant to the 'biggies' because they need to be kept for serious infections. If the strong drugs become useless then that means a trip to the hospital, everytime I have an infection, for iv abs.

I have also found that if I appear to be 'resistant' to one drug, my gp gives me another for a while, then I can return to the first one when my bugs have become non-resistant to it.


sohara, I think the bug gets used to the medicine. This is why penicillin has been updated with different upgrades. This is why you have to change the medicine for it to be efficient.

To tell you the truth, I take Clarithromycin and Refampicn daily and indefinitely. will the bug become resistant? I sincerely hope that it will be a long time yet!


Many years ago when I kept getting infections my Dr. proscribed me metronidazole which is quite powerful but you MUST NOT drink alcohol with it - apparently it's what they give to alcoholics !!! BUT itreally worked for me, but consult your Dr. first please.


Yes its a powerful one, you also get it for tooth abcesses etc - a definite no no on the booze. I was prescribed it over christmas once. That was fun.


Amoxicillin 'not more effective than using no medication'

19 December, 2012 | By The Press Association

A new study has found that amoxicillin, an antibiotic typically used to treat coughs and bronchitis, is no more effective than using no medication at all.

The research, carried out by scientists at the University of Southampton, shows that the antibiotic does not even help relieve symptoms of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) in older people compared with using no medication.

As part of the study, the largest randomised placebo controlled trial of antibiotics for LRTI, 2,061 adults from across 12 countries in Europe were given either amoxicillin or a placebo three times a day for a week. The doctors noted a minimal difference in the severity or duration of symptoms reported between the two groups, even for older patients.

Although more patients in the placebo group experienced new or worsening symptoms - 19.3% compared to 15.9% - just two patients needed hospital treatment. One person in the antibiotic group also required a hospital stay.

The study, which is published in Online First in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, also shows that almost three in 10 (28.7%) patients in the antibiotic group suffered side effects such as nausea, rash, and diorrhoea, compared with around a quarter (24%) of those taking the placebo.

Paul Little, who lead the UK research, said: “Patients given amoxicillin don’t recover much quicker or have significantly fewer symptoms.

“Using amoxicillin to treat respiratory infections in patients not suspected of having pneumonia is not likely to help and could be harmful.”

He added that the results show most people are able to get better on their own although antibiotics remain useful for a small number of patients.

The Lancet


Well, well, well! Very interesting medical research there.


Hmmm! Interesting! Of course, we don't know how severe the infections actually were or what their bug load was. I think it is a big leap to say 'most people are able to get better on their own' although it probably is true for generally healthy people.


I certainly don't just get better. I struggle for weeks with each infection.


I have to add my twopennies worth........... Not once in the last 5 years has Amoxicillin worked for me. Each time I've had to take another antiB after Amox (then another and another). I now refuse it and ask to go straight to Azithromycin + sputum tests. Each time a GP will say "but that has to be our 1st line of defence". I'm polite, but I wont be leaving their consulting room without something more substantial that wont also rot my stomach. Peeg


My Son would agree peeg. When I was given amox500 a couple of weeks ago his first words were go back it wont work. He has his answers off to a T if they try to give it to him. Actually it did work for me but I had 7 days supply 3 a day and I didn't start to improve till day 6.


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