Can anyone explain to me how often exacerbations are "supposed" to be happening?

I have had about 6 of these since the fall. Today I woke up coughing up the green mucus, AGAIN! I just get one infection after another. I have been to the ER a few times, but never hospitalized. Is this just normal? On Spiriva, Symbicort, Proventil, and nebulizer. I do fall short on taking all my meds on time. I wonder if that is why I keep getting infections.

13 Replies

  • Maybe it's the same infection that hasn't cleared properly. Sometimes, after a course of antibiotics, things seem better but symptoms recur quite quickly. Have you had sputum tests to make sure you're taking the right antibiotics ? 

  • No I have not. They usually give me doxycycline. I suppose I will just call again and be off to the Dr, again. Lol It gets annoying!!

  • Hi as long as you take all your meds as prescribed and finish your courses each time then there they should work  If you don't do this then they often will come back.  You are also making yourself more ab resistant so they won't work as well in future.  x

  • Eek. Need to manage myself better.

  • Lol.  My doctor told me you need to take all the treatments and finish the course even if you are feeling much better.  If you don't they might not have got rid of it completely which is why it comes back.   I have been caught out like that a few times so always finish everything now.  x

  • Yes, they're like weeds - you pull out all the weeds you can see in the garden and make it look good, but some of them have already dropped their seeds, and these now have plenty of space to germinate and grow - so it's not long until you're back where you started.

  • Last November I took the emergency meds, visited the Dr, and by the end felt a hell of a lot better. 5 days after completing the course, 150 miles from home (driving) I rang the GP because I was going downhill fast (again).

    One of the best at the practice told me to go straight to the surgery where he confirmed that the AB's had not worked, gave me a different AB, 10 day supply of prednisolone and a lecture about resting and not working for a few days.

    If the doxycycline didn't work then, I guess, no amount of it will. Every exacerbation does more damage to the lungs so I would agree with other comments that a return to the Dr asap is the right course of action.

    Good luck and get well soon

  • I finally got my GP to agree last week that I hadn't had loads of infections, just the original being pushed away away with a week's antibiotics only to return after a few days. I did a spreadsheet showing meds taken and well patches etc and you could see a pretty pattern. He promptly gave me a second week of abs and steroids to take and although the mucous had been clear at end of first lot of antibiotics it was bright yellow again within 48 hours. Now at end of 2nd session is clear again. I think I proved my case!

  • I tend to agree with Snodgrass, it always takes 14 days of a/bs and steroids to stand any chance of getting over an infection, but we are all different. I am currently infection free (that's a 1st for ages) yippee! Xx

  • Hi millerag I feel your exhaustion and frustration - my story is very similar to yours and all advice given is spot on. I quit smoking 7 weeks ago hoping exacerbations would reduce . They haven't yet am on AB now. Though in addition to taking all meds as prescribed I think it's important to look after ourselves eat well exercise - keep moving n doing breathing exercises and we could help ourselves alot. Good luck and take care 

  • When I think I have a problem my instructions from the consultant are to take a sputum sample to surgery then start ABs and pred. They then test to see which AB is correct and come back to alter if necessary.

  • Exactly the same  for me Consultant has given me the sputum pots I can take them direct to hospital if at the week-end or  surgery Mon-Fri.

  • It is important to take the FULL course of antibiotics and steroids if given.D.

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