chest infection??

I have had a very heavy cold for about 2 weeks now and can't seem to get rid of it.I was diagnosed over a year ago with COPD and my GP gave me an emergency pack of antibiotics and steroids.A couple of days ago,I felt the cold getting worse and felt "chesty",a tightness in my chest and mild chest pain.I looked up the NHS website to see the symptoms of a chest infection and the the only symptom on the list that I had was the tightness and chest pain.the phlegm wasn't yellow or green etc.I decided to start taking the antibiotics yesterday but I am still not sure if it's a chest infection or the cold.Can anyone tell me if it could be a chest infection in spite of me not having the classic symptoms on the NHS website.I just feel really miserable with the cold but don't want to take antibiotics if I don't need to ,with the side effects they give me especially the diaorrhea.I know I'll have to finish the course now that I have started taking them.

9 Replies

  • Your GP/respiratory nurse should have supplied you with a written plan to follow, listing telltale signs for you (we all have different ones) and advising what steps to take. Try looking here for help in checking what should be in place for you. You can then take it to your GP.

  • I dont always show the signs of an infection when i have one. so yes it is possible ..The important thing is to finish the course of antibiotics now you have started them

  • It's difficult to be sure what to do, Picasso, especially when you don't have 'classic' symptoms.

    I think you've probably done the right thing. The BLF do a good booklet about self-management. If you get one you could take it with you to your GP or nurse to discuss with them for managing things in the future.

    Hope you feel better soon. Sue x

  • It's a case of knowing your own symptoms. I normally get tightness and localised chest pain first. Then a few days later get the sputum.

  • Last October I was in the same position as you, and the surgery COPD ticked me off for starting abs, fortunately I continued because 10 days later I had to be sent to the urgent 'hot' clinic at the hospital. Now you have started you are probably safer continuing as otherwise you are just building up antibiotic resistance.

  • My Respiratory Physician told me to watch I don't progress to pneumonia from a phlegmy cold. I'm on antibiotics at the moment for the first time in about 15 years :-( Good that you're smart enough to know that once you start them, you need to finish them Best of luck!

  • Thanks for all the replies,they have been very helpful.

  • I get a lot of chest infections (every few months it seems) and one time I had started antibiotics when a few days later I kept a respiratory nurse appt and she asked how I was , and when I told her I felt really yucky and had started antibiotics but was worrying whether or not to take my steroids as well, she said I should always take the steroids with them , Good luck

  • Thanks for the reply.I have now finished my course of antibiotics and feeling ok now.I didn't take the steroids because the last time I took them,I had too many side effects which I found very difficult to cope with.

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