Mrs Mary harris

I am Australian 78 years old. I have no complaint that isn't normal for someone of my age. My husband has IPF only diagnosed, say, about 12 months ago - tho looking back perhaps had for several years. The problem at the moment is trying to find if somehow we can water-down/dilute the sticky phlegm which causes coughing morning and night. During day, coughing is minimal, seems to be buildup overnight (8 hours), and greater buildup over day (16 hours).

29 Replies

  • OVER THE COUNTER GUAIFENSIN BRAND MAME MUCINEX ER 600 MG helps me but please ask Doctor before trying just because its over the counter NEVER means its safe for all

  • Hello BEAR777. Thank you for quick reply. Don't know the brand you mention, but will chase it up with doc. MaryH 31/5

  • hope it helps please check with your DR before using

  • Morning to you both, I too have IPF and the clogging is both scary and, in company, embarrassing . Have tried the linctus type ones and these do work for some but the side effects caused me some problems. Consultant prescribed Atrovent inhaler and for me it has been perfect. I take now three inhalers, Ventolin 2 puffs 4 times a day followed by Atrovent same dosage and usage. Morning and night 1x 250microgram puff of Seretide. It keeps my airways clear and that gives me confidence. A lot of this illness can rob you of confidence, once the medication is balanced you can actually do so much more. ( took 5 years to get it right but we are all different). Hope this is of some help.


  • Hello Hajoed. Thank you so much for your quick response,. Sounds good, My husband will take your helpful suggestion with his specialist when next they meet.

    MaryH 31/5

  • I found a nasal wash helped with my mucus and some people use a salt pipe also a steam inhaler all worth trying

  • Thank you jeanlee for the info. ck101 also mentioned nasal wash. I'm optimistic about all the helpful ways that are proving helpful to others. MaryH 31/5

  • NeilMed Saline Nasal Wash morning and night, cheap efficient and works wonders.

  • Thank you ck101 for your info. Nasal wash seems be the way to go. I appreciate your time. MaryH 31/5

  • Hi Mary,

    Welcome to the forum and hope you can find lots of advice, support and information that you need on here. There is always someone around who will do their best to help you.

    There is a medication in the UK here which I and many others have found useful, and if it isn't available in your country, there is bound to be an equivalent. It is called Mucodyne, which is also known as Carbocisteine and it loosens and thins down this mucous which makes it a lot easier to cough up, although it does take a few days to start to work, and reaches a peak within roughly 2 to 3 weeks. Some people don't find it useful at all, but it worked wonders for me, but there are plenty of others available, so it would be best if your hubby discussed it with your doctor or specialist as soon as possible so that something suitable can be prescribed as it is exhausting coughing all the time.

    If you need any further advice at any time you could always email the BLF, whose specialist nurses are very helpful and knowledgeable. Their details are available on the home page.

    Good luck,

    hugs from Huggs xx :)

  • Thank you, hugs. Will follow up your advice, my husband, Bill, has found via internet search, that a German product PROSPAN chestY cough expectorant ($15-$16) , taken three time a day gives slight relief. this is my first venture into health unlocked. I am so grateful for the helpful info sent to me from so many people. On my last two replies to hajoed and BEAR777 I shud have mentioned - and perhaps they will read my reply to you - that Bill is on Pirfenidone! 2 three times daily. He was moved up to 3 three times, but it was too strong and he returned to 2 three times daily. Thank you for taking the time. MaryH 31/5

  • You are very welcome Mary. The internet is a great research tool for information, but there is nothing to beat medical advice from a specialist to guide you. On saying that though, I always go with informed information, from the internet and through others experiences. The BLF nurses are brilliant at giving you tips on questions to ask the specialist, and informing you of what should be happening with any specific condition.

    I haven't personally come across the cough expectorant you mention but it might help. I have copd and asthma, so can't really advise on IPF, but plenty of other members do have this and can maybe advise you better. Something to loosen and thin down the mucous is possibly the way forward in the long term, such as the drug I mentioned, but again be guided by your doctor. I would definitely be taking something prescribed or at least sanctioned by your doctor, rather than buying something from the internet.

    I would like to give you a gentle warning as a new member that you may be approached by a member via a private message claiming that your husband can be helped by taking a combination of vitamin A and D, but this is not a long term cure, despite his claims. Sorry to add a negative note, but I know that when a person is desperate for help they will clutch at any straws offered, and unfortunately vitamins are no cure for this or any other respiratory condition, despite the so called "cure" cited by him.

    Good luck, and hope your husband gets help soon.

    hugs from Huggs xxx :)

  • Thank you, Huggs . Yes we r very careful. We have our own vitamin routine : E, D3, cQ10, plus pirfenidone . MaryH

  • Mary - If your husband is using a nebulizer ask your doctor about using a 2.5 ml saline nebule when required to loosen up lung congestion. I have used them for many years and they are effective for me.

  • I like the other have COPD and take Mucodyne this sometime not working as it should so I take 2 teaspoons of lemon (jiffy ) 2 teaspoons of honey add some boiled water let it cool a little don't want to break the glass. sip on this while warm it helps the throat and helps to break up the mucus too

  • Hi Mary I used to suffer with terrible coughing until my GP put me on a tablet called

    Carbocystein, I take 3 a day that is morning, lunchtime, and one before going to bed and I don't cough at all now. The only thing I can say is give it a try it worked for me and

    I have every confidence it will help you to. I have emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis, and

    bronchiecstasis and the mucus wouldn't leave me alone but I don't get it now. Good

    luck and let me know how it goes. all the best JIM.

  • Hi Is this Carbocystein something you purchase over the counter or do you need a script thank you

  • My doctor put me on antibiotics full time and it has helped move the mucus really well i think i have had the mucus sitting for a while now.although last year i had pneumonia so i am glad now they give me these antibiotics it has helped alot.

  • Thank you eddy1952. Appreciate your helpful info. MaryH 31/5

  • Will get the name of them in the morning and give it to you it is good for me and my copd.

  • I am also on mucodyne (carbosisteine). One three times a day and find that it helps a lot

  • Hi Mary , what state are you in i am in perth

  • Hi Mary welcome you'll find lots of good advice here I too have IPF plus other health problems and am greatful to be able to seek help here. My maiden name is Harris and I have a sister Mary what a coincidence but no relation as we have none in Australia that I know of. Good Luck x

  • Thank you, imelda16 Harris. MaryH

  • hello, a warm welcome.

    I too take carbocysteine/mucodyne but i do believe it isn't recomended for IPF.

    Could be wrong but you're obvs sensible.

    There is an over the counter similar or equivilent called N Acetycysteine (there was a post yesterday on it) but again, it may not be recommended for IPF.

    Good luck to you and your husband. Peege

  • Thank you, Peege. Mary

  • I also have a phlegm problem but my Lung Specialist told me to take Bisolvon tablets they are very small tabs and you buy them over the counter. They work for me.

  • I forgot to tell you I am also Australian and the Bisolvon are available here maybe not in England. regards

  • I'm also in Australia and take Bisolvon.

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