pseudomonas lung infection - and scared!

I have Bronchiectasis (diagnosed 18 months ago) and life long asthmatic. Suffering repeated lung infections treated by antibiotics usually amoxicillin. Sputum cultures usually come back negative! Have had a bad infection for 2 weeks now and sputum test confirms colonisation with pseudomonas. Dr. Rang me last evening to give me the news and I pick up a new antibiotic today. I knew that there was something lurking because I felt quite ill and breathless and also had a wheats/yeasty taste when I coughed!

I have read quite a bit about this infection and I am scared! Reading some of your posts/experiences is encouraging though. Any further infor/advice is invited.

I am 57 and work as a social work manager in child care. I am worried about continuing working in public services as this exposes me to ongoing risk of further infection. I am self employed and need to take sometime out of work whilst I recover but not entitled to any benefits because of my savings. Any advice here would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

22 Replies

  • Hi,

    Firstly don't panic, this bug is well known to me and there are various ways of dealing with it. I would think the oral antibiotic you have been prescribed is probably Ciprofloxacin, which I think is the usual first treatment. I nebulise Colomycin which is another tried and tested way of trying to evict this bug.

    One consultant told me this bug never leaves once it has become a squatter, however I recently tested negative for it.

    As regards to trying to avoid infections, buy the 'flu and cold blocker from Boots and the First Defence and use them routinely. They do help.

    I'm sure you will soon be feeling much better and send you warm wishes.

  • Hi Kerrieblue, I am most interested in your Reply here. I've just been told that I will be starting a course of Colistin, via a home nebuliser very soon.

    My last three sputum tests have come back showing a positive pseudomonas infection, even though I have been taking Ciprofloxacin.

    I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis in 2012 and have only seemingly been colonised with this wretched pseudomonas since February this year. I say 'seemingly' as I think it may have started well before then.

    However, I was delighted to hear you say that you have managed to evict your colonisation by using the nebulising method, as I'd also heard that pseudomonas were almost impossible to clear - so, well done.

    How long does each Colomycin course last? How many times a day do you nebulise for?

    I took your suggestions of buying: Cold & Flu' Blocker and First Defence from Boots - many thanks.

    I have also started taking Allicin Pure Garlic tablets (they don't smell awful!) and Bio Acidophilus Forte (this is rather expensive and it needs to be kept in the fridge) to keep my digestive tract healthy, especially when I take any antibiotics.

    Keep well and best wishes to you and DunCaan for the original Post.

  • Hi there,

    I have been on nebulised colostin for a good while now, and I am keeping reasonably well. I am trying to change to Promoxin which is much quicker to nebulise but is more expensive, sadly my consultant seems to be dragging his heels over this.

    I also take multi vitamins, probiotics, and Manuka honey every day. I buy a jar every month and hubby will have to get a part time job as it has just gone up to £45 a jar, but I do think it helps to keep the bugs at bay.

    Try to use the Cold and flu blocker every time you go out.

    You are welcome to PM me if you would like to chat.

  • Thanks Covenham for you good wishes. Hope you get well soon.

  • Thanks Kerrieblue for your response. ciprofloxin seemed to work wonders for first 36 hours - got rid of the nasty green stuff but since then I have been up and down with my lungs filling up throughout the day - clearer and less thick but lots of it. Tired and fed up at the mo. See consultant on Wednesday. Will let you know how I get on.

    Best wishes

  • Hi Duncaan please don't be scared! There is a lot that can be done, colonisations are a pain to get rid of, keep having repeat sputum tests and take your ABs, I don't know if you have been offered steroids but they do a marvellous job. Can't help re benefits but sure someone will be along that can. You take care xx

  • hello, there are quite a few of us on here who have bronchiectasis ( we tend to call it bronch and ourselves bronchs ) . Some of us are colonised with pseudomonas. I have had it since 1986. It is not anything to panic about and it is better not to google it because the information does not relate to pseudomonas in bronchiectasis but community aquired infections in elderly or very vulnerable people, whose systems are compromised.

    Firstly, do you have a good consultant who specialises in bronchiectasis. This is crucial as most doctors now know a lot about COPD which is similar but very different in its problems and needs. They are not sufficiently trained in bronch unless they have a particular interest.

    lab tests on sputum often come back clear because, especially with pseudomonas, the organisms die off if it is not tested quickly and many labs do not have the ability to isolate the funny bacteria which we get.

    Pseudomonas needs treatment withspecific antibiotics. Oral ciproxin is the usual one, or azithromycin taken long term three times each week. Some drugs like colomycin, or ceftazidime, are nebulised long term to keep down colonisation. And there is always IV if you have a really bad episode. I have had bronch for 63 years and have only had IV 3 times.

    Of course you need to clear the mucus from your chest which is the best way of keeping the bugs down, keep active, eat the right food, keep away from people with viruses (First Defense up the nose before going into crowded spaces is a good idea)

    Most of all, don't worry, get control of it and your medics and enjoy your life.


  • Thanks Stillstanding63! Good to get some reasurances from other Psudo victims! Keep strong.

  • I too am life long asthmatic and diagnosed with bronciectasis about 4 years ago, I used to get continuous infections, one was pseudomonas I was given the correct antibiotics and it did go, I was checked several times to make sure it was clear. My infection was streppacocos which I seemed to be plagued with.

    Good news is that after being put on a permanent antibiotic it has changed my life. Not always infection free but so much better.

    I work in retail so am surrounded by people all the time. I do get very paranoid when people are sneezing etc around me, but make sure hands are clean and definitely agree with first defence spray.

    Can't help with money side, but just to say health wise it can get better with correct treatment. Shirley

  • Shirleyj thank you for your response. Take care

  • Hi DunCaan, I too have bronchiectasis and also used to have repeated infections. It may be a silly question, but have you looked to your hygiene regime, it is all too easy to reinfect oneself. After a course of antibiotics , you should as a matter of course change your nebuliser mask and tubing and wipe everything down with anti bacterial wipes or spray. You could also ask for an alternative antibiotic to ring the changes. Sputum cultures have quite a short shelf life, (I think it's about 3 hrs.) but a blood test can show positive where sputum can show negative. More than three infections in a six month period usually warrant a long term antibiotic such as Azithromycin. Hope some of this may help. Whatever happens, don't panic.Talk to your consultant there is always something that will help. Mike.

  • Thanks Mike for your reassuring words. Helpful as today I am feeling low having to continuously clear my lung. I see consultant on Wednesday - 1st appointment. Hope he is good. Will keep you informed. Oh and good advice re: avoiding reinfecting through hygiene regime. I use hand sterilising gel throughout the day.

  • Hi,

    I have bronchiectasis ( and am 57!) and have had pseudomonas in the past. My understanding is that although the bug can be hard to clear it is not necessarily that aggressive. I had treatment with ciprofloxin originally and when I have had subsequent chest infections often it is other usual bugs (like hemophilus) which cause the problem and so usual antibiotics work. It is very frightening reading about it on the net and I agree with what others say that it is only a major issue if you are very weak or immunocompromised.

  • Hi Duncann

    Sorry I cannot help you with your questions as I have no experience of your illness,

    I just felt for you when I read your post, especially when you said you were scared.

    So I am sending you a lot of Velvets special Hugs.....They are Hugs that are full of Love, Laughter, and Strength.

    I hope they work for you and help.


    Velvet xx

  • Thanks Velvet

  • I know what your going through ,I go have had this bug ,I was treated with doxycycline antibiotics and predisoline ,,,,I have to say I was pretty poorly poorly for some weeks ,but once the medication kicked in I felt much better ,like you I am asthmatic and have Bronchietis ,make sure you have you have your flu jab ,and ask for a pneumonia jab to ,but please remember you can't have the flu jab while on antibiotics ,good luck ,wishing you a speedy recovery ,

  • Thanks Nanny1068 for your reply

  • Hi DunCaan, I too have Bronchiectasis. I too was told I had colonisation in my lungs. Scarry, I did not know what to say or ask. I was 64 and thought I was never going to feel better. I was taken into hospital 4 times with pneumonia and when my organs began to fail my husband thought he was going to lose me. However, once I was diagnosed with a second CT scan (it took 2 years). I did get help from my Consultant and I am now on Azithromycin 3 days per week. This wonder pill (an antibiotic) has given me my life back. I feel really well and have only had an asthma attack with a really nasty lung infection once in the past year. There is hope DunCann you can get help.

    I must ask, have you a Consultant? an Asthma nurse you can ring if you are in doubt about your condition? Emergency medicines at the ready? All these things will help you feel in control again. If the answer is no. Ask your GP to refer you to a local consultant who knows about Bronchiectasis. I did and it was the best thing I ever did. I am now on annual check-ups. So good luck and if you need any further help you have come to the correct forum. Just ask, I or someone else will answer you. They are a nice helpful lot on this forum. Take care. Maximonkey

  • Thanks Maximonkey for your response. Good to hear from fellow sufferers experience. I see my consultant for 1st time on Wednesday - fingers crossed that he is good one! Best wishes

  • Fingers crossed for you .

  • Please try not to be too scared by pseudo. Many bronchs are colonised with pseudo and there are medications which can help to keep it in check. My colonisation is heamophylus and unfortunately I cannot take prophylactic drugs like Azith. Lots of us who are colonised nebulise antibiotics.

    One thing to note is that the normal sputem samples we put in would only be 'cooked' for a couple of days and pseudo usually takes longer to grow. I sometimes put on the form cf protocol, whereby if you are lucky it will given longer.

    Agree with others here to stay away from lots of sites on the internet. Not this one of course. Bronchiectasis R Us is another very reputable forum packed full of knowledgeable bronchs.

    Love cx

  • Cofdrop thanks again for replying to my post. Still worried about the future! Seeing consultant on Wednesday - hope I have confidence in him. Best wishes

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