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British Lung Foundation
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Emergency antibiotics?

Hi, my OH (other half) has recently been diagnosed with COPD and given some medication which helps. However, recently he is feeling tired and lethargic and coughing quite a bit. He was given an emergency pack of antibiotics - should he start taking them, or do you think he should see his gp first?

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Hi ab's only help if there is an infection. Normally if he coughs up coloured gunk ie green or yellow then that is an infection. If not then it is probably just a normal exacerbation and ab's won't help Steroids should though. Does he have any of these?

I will say though that if he isn't sure to either see his doctor or just to take them anyway. It's better to take them than not take them when he needs them as infections can further damage the lungs. I hope this helps. x

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I agree with coughalot normally with antibiotics you take then if mucus changes colour , or you bring a lot more up sometime with a chest infection you get a funny taste in mouth as well , if he can it would probably be best to see gp and get checked out tomorrow , what inhalers has he been put on

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Hi

Was you not given a management plan.

A typical one is.

lothianrespiratorymcn.scot....

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I don't have one either

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You should get one at your yearly review. I got this years one at the PR class

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ah! still in my 1st year, my nurse does a six month review but both times they rang for me to go (and for flu jab) I've had a chest infection. Typical!

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If only....

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I also have an emergency supply of antibiotics and steroids and the rule of thumb is only take if phlegm you cough up turns a dark green

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Fist of I suggest a sputum sample sent in to surgary for testing for any bugs growing ,then the correct antibiotic for that bug can be prescribed ,but i would try to see GP ,as for being tired and lethargic sadly that can be a side effect of the antibiotics and infection ,

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BLF have a good leaflet about self-management and when to take rescue meds. It does help to clarify things and make sense of mixed messages.

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He should only take them when he feels he cant fight the infection off himself i also have copd and have antibiotics in the cupnoard but every year i get a real good cough cold and i leave a week to see if i can fight it off myself otherwise your body will get immuned to them

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The reason rescue medication is given to many patients with lung conditions is that they're very vulnerable. Each infection can cause permanent damage to lung tissue. If you have a diagnosed lung problem it's a much more complicated issue than developing an immunity.

Sue

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Absolutely correct Sue. The antibiotics are kept at home so that any infection can be caught and fought as quickly as possible because any delay can cause more permanent damage to the lungs.

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