should I start steroids

have been on antibiotics for 10 days and no better..went to the doctors two days ago and was told just finish your antibiotics and you should feel better..finished the course and cough and sore chest and foul taste in mouth is worse..i have my rescue pack of steroids but not sure if I should start to take them .any advice please cant get to see doctor now until Tuesday next week ps I have bronchestaxis hence the rescue pack

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14 Replies

  • Hi Marlee, I would start on the steroids as you have them, otherwise you're going to have a long weekend of still feeling unwell while you wait to see your doctor. They give us these rescue packs for this reason. Flare ups always get worse at weekends!

    Hopefully others will be along with more knowledge of bronchiectasis to give their opinion.

    Hope you feel much better soon, Jan :-)

  • I also have emergency medication which I take as soon as I realise I am having a flare up , it saves making an appointment with my doctor regards bobsie1

  • You in UK?

    Try the NHS help line on 111 or see here for out of hours service (walk in at you local hospital etc)

    I'd start them... in fact I have!

  • Hi marlee just had a word with my wife who has COPD. When she feels the need to take her Emergency Pack she takes the Antibiotics and the Steroids. Antibiotics for the infection and Steroids to open her airways up to aid breathing. You don't mention any problems with your breathing which may be why you didn't start the steroids. I don't think steroids will sort your cough out. You may need another course of antibiotics or a different antibiotic to get rid of the infection.

    I think your best course of action is to have a word with your pharmacist to see what they suggest bearing in mind it is a bank holiday weekend.

    Hope you are feeling better soon.

    Regards. John

  • I have bronchiectasis and sever asthma and always take steroids and antibiotics together. How is your peak flow? Are you struggling to breathe? Do you have breathing exercises to do to help clear your chest and finally have you had a sputum sample tested to make sure you're on the right antibiotics?

    If you are struggling to breathe and peak flow is low I would definitely take the steroids but would see if breathing exercises hell shift the gunk. Took me a lot of nagging to get sputum samples tested with every chest infection but now I know what bug it is 9 times out of 10 we know what antibiotic to use to nail it fast. Good luck X

  • Hi I have very high moderate copd but find now that ab's on their own rarely cure my chest infections and I usually have steroids as well. I am surprised your doctor didn't tell you to have both. x

  • You should certainly have been feeling some improvement after 10 days if the bacteria you have cultured were sensitive to the antibiotic given. If not then GP should have changed them. The fact that you have the foul taste suggests to me you still have an infection. eg. If I grow strep p then it is usually sensitive to amoxil but if I grow haemophilus then doxycycline or amoxil is required. Both of these bacteria have a foul taste.

    Why is GP giving you steroids in your rescue pack for bronchiectasis unless you have asthma or copd too? Steroids are often incorporated in an inhaler but we do not, in general, use them as a 'go to' drug, although we do sometimes need courses. I hope you have a good respiratory consultant with a special interest in cf/bronchiectasis, if not you should ask to be referred. Too many GPs treat us as if we have copd.

    Have you got a walk in centre you could get to? If your temp goes up very high, then I feel you should go to a and e. Not ideal, I know but your infection needs sorting out.

    Good luck. Please let us know how you get on.

    Love cx

  • thank you to all I have started my steroids ..I have a tight chest previously stated a foul taste and a hacking none productive cough..i know from experience this is the start of an episode that in the end will only go away with rather than wait for the doctors to open Tuesday .I have started treatment myself...if they do not do any good I hope they will not do any harm...I was diagnosed a good while ago but have only twice coughed something up..the specialist said this is know to happen with some people who have bronci .I am told I would be better if I could cought up but cannot..i do my breathing exercises regularly and take Mucadine .but to no avail

  • Hi Marlee glad to hear you have started the steroids. Hope you feel better soon. X

  • Deffo steroids are the way to go best wishes x

  • In general I always start both at the same time I find it works the best. If your antibiotics haven't made a difference in the first 4 days go back to your doctor. I have a matron who visits when I'm ill &she advised this good luck

  • thank you for all the helpful comments ..I feel down at the moment but it is nice to know there are people who will take the time to try to help ..hope the steroids will work soon x

  • I work in a cancer research charity shop and for some reason buses do not run on Sunday's so I had to walk almost a mile to the shop. I must say my inhaler took a hammering as I was very much out of breath but i was determined to carry out my charity work bobsie1.

  • Hello marlee,

    My advice would be to take's going to be a long weekend.

    Hoping you start to feel a lot better very soon.


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