chest infection? Very confused

Hi there everybody, my name is kate and ive belonged to this site for a few years, but have never really asked many questions, i just like reading how everybody copes with this horrible disease. I had asthma when i was 12, and put on steroids when i was 15, im now steroid independant, my ct scan showed i had bronchiectasis about 8 years ago, Im on LTOT for 19 hours a day on 2L and oxygen for going out with, Im on all the medicines, tablets etc, and getting frequent chest infections, only this time the nurse did a sputum test and it came back negative, my question is can you still have a infection if it was clear, as i feel sob, not coughing and my sats are fairly low on oxygen and off, my consultant has put me on ampicillin for 6 weeks and then to go onto the 3 x a week azith, I have a rescue pack of clary do you think I should start them instead cos to me ampicillin is something i was put on as a child. Thank you for taking the time to read this, love this site its so informative, and people are really helpful and kind. xx

23 Replies

  • Hi

    Yes,I have non infection flare ups. Brought on by anxiety/ strong smelling household products, air pollution and various triggers.

  • Hi Stone, yes some of my flare ups are caused by anxiety, what do you take or do when this occurs? Do you take a rescue pack of antis or steroids?

  • Hi

    I take Citalopram 20mg for anxiety.

    If I can I try and work through breathing attacks, just with rest and breathing exercise.

    I also sometimes use steroids, 4/6 a day for 4/5 days.

    I have also been offered Oramorph , which may be a better long term solution.

    The problem with non infection, is trying to isolate the cause.

  • Stone I am sure I have read somewhere that if you have COPD then you are not to take Oramorph. It may be well worth looking into that .

  • Hi

    I had the same thoughts, but is down to the dosage .

  • Just read the guidelines for Oramorph, very interesting and informative, think I shall persevere with that too, anything to try and not feel sob, Thanks again x

  • Hello Robbydrum, my cons also gave me oramorph, but only 1.25 mls x a day, did take it and it does help but makes me very sleepy! dont take it too often

  • Oh, ok thanks for that. It means I can now resume taking the morphine for my hip and back pain. Might even use it as an aid to sleeping

  • Hi there Stone, I take citalprim same as you and lorazapam, still tend to get the panic attacks, the only thing i can do is try the same as you deep breathing and thinking about something else, I have just started Yoga, not the kind we know to energetic! its for people with breathing difficulties, doing exercise in a chair, and relaxtion classes. Does help but you really have to clear your mind very difficult when youre sob! x

  • I think there are infective exacerbations and non-infective exacerbations. The infective ones are treated with antibiotics and the non-infective with steroids or an adjustment in your meds. I get a lot of non-infective exacerbations, with sob and pain and to be honest I find the infective episodes easier to handle.

  • HI Argana, thank you for your reply, I have boosted steroids up to 30mg then I was told by my cons that steroids dont work for people with bronchiectasis! x

  • They are prescribed for breathlessness and wheeziness regardless of what your main condition is. They won't help with the infection but tge complications caused by the infection ( sob, wheeze etc.) I have bronchiectasis too and am often prescribed steroids. Consultants say the weirdest things :)

  • Evening.

    Hello welcome to the site so glad you decided post something. Sorry to hear you feel so rotten, my sputum sample always come back negative but we know I've got an infection. I've be taking Azithromycin since December and touch wood I've been infection free. A little tip I picked up from someone on here take it first thing before your other medication, the only reason I mention it is because the first week or so I felt ill with it until I changed when I took it.

    Good luck

    Kim xxx

  • Hi Kimmy 59, thanks for reading my comments! I have been on ampicillin for 3 weeks but still feeling sob, but have a rescue pack of clary from gp, think I might start on them shortly, i just hope the azith works, thanks for the tip anyway about taking them, nice to speak to people who are in the same boat as you! xx

  • You're suppised to take it on an empty stomach Kim, one hour before or two hours after food. Taking it first thing is a good idea.

  • Hi Boylie

    A sample can come back as a false negative for a few reasons. The sample may not have been fresh enough by the time it got to the lab and into a petri dish or it could be the sample was not produced from an area of the lung which is infected. It could however be free from infection. We have all had false negs when our gunk was dark and we are running a high temp. It is useful but is by no means an exact science.

    Glad your con is being proactive and giving you a 6 week course followed by Azith. I don't understand your reasoning that because you had amp as a child it is will be of lesser benefit to you. Maybe you should give it a try first and if you don't feel they are of any use after a few days then perhaps speak to your gp.

    Good luck

    love cx

  • Hello cofdrop, yes think your right about the sputem, I know in myself whether I have a infection after all these years! I had amp when I was 13 until i was 15, and then admitted to a chest hospital because I was very sick, it just seems that amp is like amox, one of the cheaper brands that has no effect on me! Have a rescue pack of clary think I might start taking them soon xx

  • As cofdrop said it does not seem to be an exact sicence I was told I was clear 3 days later I went back as I felt so rough be told I had double pneumonia given AB and the second day ended up in ICU with lung failure and being ventilated. Some days I have been producing goo by the cup full and they can not hear a thing?

    Get well soon.

  • Hello Offcut, I know how the lungs can change from being clear, and then a few days later changing so quick, how scary for you, ive been admitted to hospital like that when my resp nurse said it was fine, so think im going to take my rescue pack of clary cos i know and as we all do, !know what our own bodies are like! Best wishes

  • Can't see if anyone has said on here - if you are going to take the Clarithromycin you must stop taking the Azithromycin.

    polly xx

  • Hello Polly, yes consult told me i would have to stop azith, mind you wasnt on them long as they gave me some side effects, but im going to persevere with them now cos of all you lovely people on here that take them and it seems to show great improvement, maybe I can reduce my steroids with them! x

  • I may be wrong and I am happy to be corrected but as someone who also has Bronchiectasis this has been my understanding. That a cough and sputum production from higher in the lung from a different condition does not rule out an infection lurking lower down in the thicker, heavier, more sticky mucus of Bronchiectasis. Regards Rib

  • Hello Kate my name is Sylvia and I was interested to read your post. I have been on antibiotics for three weeks (made me feel awful but I persevered) Had dreadful cough and GP thought it was a chest infection. However even after all the AB still coughing like mad and not feeling well at all. I have Pulmonary Fibrosis and am wondering whether it is just a "flare up". Not sure if this happens with this condition. I do have pain in my side/back not sure if this is related. Think a trip back to GP is on the cards do you? Lovely to share our troubles !

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