mucus/cough cough and cough

Had a terrible day coughing constantly bringing up clear frothy sticky mucus,i feel worn out by it all and very down,is this how my life is going to be? i feel fearful of my future.I don't mean to sound dramatic, but i don't feel my medication is doing anything for me.I am on Spiriva, ventolin and a steroid inhaler. Can anyone give me any advise? Merry Christmas to you all stay well, much love biker

31 Replies

  • Hi bikergrove no it won't be like that you will get your us and downs I have had the same as you for last couple of days just put it down change in weather same medicine as you but seretide plus oxygen don't let it get you Down you will get good days soon so keep your head up and all the best


  • Thank you jimmyg23 i think i just get frightened by all the mucus and coughing i must remember i am lucky compared to some, glad you are all here for me when i feel afraid of my condition. xx

  • Hi Bikergrove, Things get better. I think all of us have to adapt - I do not know how old you are, whether you are trying to hold a job down or older like me. Never easy- Seretide might help but, I think, talk to one of the excellent nurses at BLF. They helped me at the beginning plus the forum will be helpful to make you realise you are not on your own. I hope you manage to hav e a lovely Christmas. Katie JJ. Ps. we do have control over the way we deal with our breathing problems. I know I have always been a glass half full but recently started on the glass half empty "it was awful" am going back to my other way of dealing with things. Recommend the humour section if you are down.

  • Thank you Katie for your advice it means a lot to know there are people out there with their own knowledge and experience of copd i really appreciate your advice, i just get frightened by all the mucus and constant coughing. love and Merry Xmas xx

  • KatieJJ and bikergrove, Some control may be obtained by ACBT or Active Cycle of Breathing Technique. In the new year, ask your consultant or GP to refer you to a pulmonary nurse, Seh can give you more details and refer you to a physiotherapist.

    In the meantime, see this video on breathing and huffing:

    do this in the morning (gently, not to inflame your muscles, because that is painful) and in the evening so you are free from mucus duiring the night. Take some cough mixture at night time (Covonia recommended) so you can have a good night sleep. If possible sleep on several cushions. But in the new year, ask your GP or the pulmonary nurse if you could have a frame from teh physiotherapist so you can sleep with a support on your back and head, That is very helpful, as the mucus doesn't come up in this way. Hope this helps. Can you do some exercises too:

    I do these in the morning and The 8 pieces of brocade (part of the medical martial arts)

    Here's an explanation:

    And here's the video showing how it's done:

    That's a start anyway. Hope the new year is fruitful for you and that you find a good pulmonary nurse. Mic

  • Thank you for all this valuable information will look into it and give it a try. merry xmas to you and good health too love Biker x

  • Hi Bikergrove I have severe copd and am bothered with terrible sticky mucus and can manage it to twice a day early morning and late at night....I have a Flutter which I use after taking my medication my inhalers spiriva ventolin etc....I use the flutter for maybe 30 mins and it clears my mucus out of my chest thus enabling me to breathe better.....sometimes I may have to use it quickly if I go to the loo but normal img I can get through until bedtime.....I then use it for 30 mins again and go to bed with a clear's like a little white plastic pipe with a ball bearing in it that vibrates the chest walls and moves your sputum to your main pipe so you can spit it out's been my life saver and would really recommend IT you can ask Jeeves and he will direct you to the site or you can get it off your Dr on prescription hope this helps you

  • Bless you Raggsy for your reply and advice will look into getting a Flutter, wishing you a Merry Christmas love Biker x

  • I Got my Flutter on prescription from my GP who said at first it was not available. I checked with my local pharmacy who said it most definitely was prescribable. Very useful along with Autogenic Drainage breathing and mucadyne. They are £59 from Amazon if you really need to buy.

  • RAggsi, I would recommend teh flutter, but my pulmonary nurse told me to start by doing it gradually, because if you do 20 minutes at first you tear your muscles (as I had, and it's really painful!) so yes, I recommend this too, and it can be prescribed by GP or consultant or speak to your nurse, physiotherapist.

  • Hi biker grove, some practices provide a flutter device free on prescription, so I would ask first.

    It is not suitable for everyone, so best to check.

    I have been given Mucodyne which thins the mucus, but again not everyone finds it useful. Or Saline nebule solution if you have a nebuliser that is.

    Do you have a plastic spacer for your inhalers, you can get one from your surgery.

    Again you can ring the BLF helpline during working hours for advice too.

    I try and breathe gently only through my nose with a relaxed diaphragm.

    Have you asked about Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

    Hope some of these ideas may help, and that you have a better day today. Take care.

  • Hi bikergrove, I don't suffer with phlegm but can understand how horrible it can be, but there are loads of friends on here who will be able to help and offer advice. All I can offer is stay positive even on a bad day life is worth living . Take care x Sonia x

  • Hello bikergrove, Sorry you are struggling I know what a worry it is and so exhausting to keep coughing and not getting anything up. Try some of the ideas here or even a sip of expectorant cough mixture will often help - although do read the label and do not take too much. 'Huffing' which I learnt at P.R. helps but is not so easy to master. Take care.

  • I use a tip I got on here and gently blow bubbles through a straw in a bottle of water which does help get it up. Drinking plenty of water helps thin it down . having a laugh on here with other members also helps. Good luck. Joyce.

  • Hi on the subject of flutters thought I would mention my £50 prescription flutter got broken (very fragile). Patent must be off now as I got a replacement on internet called "shaker" costing approx. £25. Very good, also much tougher. I expect NHS will still waste money by buying the original expensive one. KatieJJ

  • nhs also prescribe the acapella which is easier to use as can be used any position, even laying down. Boots couldn't get mine but Lloyds pharmacy did. First one the GP and chemist had been asked for, but it is available.


  • No Biker this is not how your life is going to be! It could have been me writing your post, coughing up lots of gunk and yet another infection, but this to will pass, hoping to be able to enjoy Christmas, will take it easy until then, and hope you will!

    Love Sheila Xx

  • " Hello Biker... I too suffer with a lot of mucus and constant coughing. firstly to thin the mucus i take Mucodyne 2x3 times a day and it as really helped me a lot, i know for some it doesn't help but it's worth a try Biker for it might just suit you also. and what i find really helps me with my cough is Maple syrup..." put a good table spoonful of syrup into a saucepan add a small amount of water. let it heat up. then cool down" I then add mine into a Small bottle and just take a few sips when i start to cough, i really find its soothing and that does help me a lot.. I hope some my ideas will maybe help you. good luck Biker.. and here's wishing you a very Happy Christmas..Megan."

  • Hi If this excess mucous has suddenly come, and not your normal, I suspect you've got a cold and this exacerbating your respiratory condition increasing mucous production. This is still to be taken seriously, see your doc *** urgently ***who will prob presribe short course of oral steroids (prednisalone) which will sort you out pronto. If the mucus is not green, then abs aren't required..

  • PS If you're feeling brave you could try stopping the mucodyne, too,it made me cough all the time.

    We don't all react the same to these drugs so don't be a victim to them, ask to try something else. You will be better than now, there is a sinusy, chesty something going round and with our condition, we seam to catch everything... you've poss got it on top of your other probs, get it treated as above... soon as!

  • HI Biker

    All I can say is that for a couple of weeks I had a debilitating tickly cough a least 10 times a day. My eyes would water and I could barely breathe (I have severe COPD & am on 1/2 litre of oxygen for min 15 hours daily) My GP assured me that it wasn't a chest infection so I carried on coughing. Then I called 111, BLF & COPD advice lines weren't available. After a few questions I eventually received a phone call from a 111 GP who advised me to start my antibiotic rescue pack and double up on the steroid inhaler. After three days on the antibiotics the cough had gone. Feel so much better. Now I will always get a second opinion.

    Hope you feel better soon.


  • Before looking elsewhere, increase your clear fluid intake....that means water. That will thin the mucus and make it easier to move. Spend as much time as you can, sitting up. Lying down just encourages it to stick together. Vibrations. Weird as it seems, vibrations help to break down mucus and make it easier to dislodge. That is why so many handicapped children are taken for horse rides....the gentle motion and sitting up right moves everything in the right direction....try a car journey down a very bumpy road if there is one around. My mobility scooter has solid tyres....not a very comfy ride, but brilliant for breaking down mucus an a pavement with slabs.

  • have been taking carbocisteine for ten days,Had to go back to drs this morning,The last week I have done nothing but cough chest sounding like a engine along with whistling and other noises,Also breathless, Dr has now put me on more steroids less than 3 weeks since I had the last lot,Have stopped the carbocisteine as they should have helped but haven't.At least perhaps the steroids will get me over christmas

  • Carbocisteine will increase the amount of mucus produced as this is what it is designed for. I had to give this up.

  • I found those tablets exactly like you did made me cough all the time,had to stop them, i thought perhaps i was imagining it but obviously they do not suit everyone. Thanks for your reply may i wish you a Merry and Healthy Christmas love Biker xx

  • I found that huffing and puffing helped dislodge some really thick stuff and once this went the amount of clear sticky mucus reduced considerably.

  • Hi David, i also had to stop the carbocisteine because i could not stop coughing,i have just learnt the huff technique off you tube and yes it does work. Hope you have a merry Christmas and stay Biker x

  • hello bikergrove.. so sorry to read about how down you feel. My husband has different problems but has episodes of feeling the same as you (not that that is ANY help). I hope that soon you will find something/someone that makes you feel a bit better and makes you feel that life is worth living. This isn't the best time of the year is it, for everything to be feeling like Hell. Best wishes and hope things soon pick up.

    J xx

  • Have you tried mucodyne syrup or the capsules they help me with the mucus.

  • Hi Titchy, yes I tried the capsules then resp nurse said I couldn't have them for some reason

  • Hi mate, I hope you will feel better soon. I had the same problem and the GP thought it's asthma. Gave me inhalers with no result . In the end it was some acid reflux from my stomach causing it, so I would check this possibility too.

    Hope you will get well soon!

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