Hi all I've just been reading all your positive comments for Bird 67 on carbocisteine. I've been on them now for three months and can't say I've noticed any change. It's still hurts and hard to cough up mucus. The only thing is I gave up smoking 8 weeks ago and am wondering if this has anything to do with it and I just have to be patient. Any one out there been the same ?

It's still all very new and worrying so any advice I'm so grateful.

17 Replies

I found it was quite a while before I really noticed a change, certainly more than six months and I am a non-smoker which may make a difference. I hope you will soon feel better.

Hi Lily - I didnt read the original post you refer to. Carnival's reply is interesting as I tried Carbocysteine and found it didnt work for me. Should I have persisted? Trouble was it over thinned my mucus and I would get bronchospasm trying to cough it up, so probably it just didnt suit me. And from what Ive read in the past, it doesnt suit everyone. I gave up smoking 15 years prior to dx so haven't anything useful to say about that.

Have you tried the active cycle of breathing? It helps loosen and move the mucus up higher where it's easier to cough up. There are youtubes showing you how to do this. I also find using a steamer helps, if you can take steam that is.

Thanks for the info I will definitely look that up.

Hi 02Trees just wanted to tell you I have just tried the active cycle of breathing. Absolutely brilliant has really cleared my chest this morning. Will be doing this regularly. Thanks for the great advice x

FABULOUS! Well done you :)

I was a heavy smoker a year ago and it took around 6 months from giving up before my lungs "normalised", I was taking carbocisteine 3 times a day during this time and then reduced it to twice a day once all the "yucky bad" mucus had gone leaving just the normal small amount of clear mucus that collects near the throat that just requires an occasional "growling grunt" to bring it higher to swallow it. Persevere and you will get there, I think it really depends on what component of COPD you have, Emphysema, Bronchitis or both. I only have Emphysema, so mucus is not a big thing with me anymore and I no longer cough (except when having an infection of course). Perhaps someone with the Bronchitis component will come along to say what they experienced.

Thanks for that I will persevere with the tablets. I have only been told I have copd they haven't said what component of it I have. So this site is so helpful to me. Thanks for replying.

Hi, from comments in the past I recall people saying that it takes a few months for the lungs to recover from the inhaled toxins of the ciggies so I think the answer us to be patient for another few months. Be as healthy as you can, drink loads of fluid and exercise as much as you can manage.

I'd been wondering if the carbocysteine I've been taking for a few years was actually working - until that is when I ran out for two days. I certainly noticed a difference then. Was coughing a lot more and stuff not loose enough to cough up.

I've been on Carbocisteine for several months now and I feel that they do work ... just not as well as I'd like them to. I also use a Flutter device when things get bad. (Google "Flutter device" - about £50)

Good luck

Thanks everyone I feel better knowing it will take a while for my lungs to repair after 40 years of smoking. I've just been fed up with coughing, so I'll just have to be patient.

You will get there for sure. The brilliant choice you've made is to quit the ciggies. I should have mentioned that everyone is different too.

It may help to have a look at YouTube clips for 'huffing technique', this is a simple breathing out exercise to help bring up mucus. When you look at breathing & lung information on YouTube loads of other clips come up about lung health, I learnt a lot from these.

Summer is coming, the best time for getting out and enjoying life. 😃

Thank you . This is all so helpful to me x

Hi Lily B

There is a device called a flutterer you can use to loosen Mucus (ask your doc /nurse) It is basically like a pipe with a ball in the end which you blow through the ball oscillates and loosens the mucus in your lungs - maybe worth a try if you feel the Carbocisteine isn't working?

Take Care



It's Good you have given up the weed, make sure you keep off it.

In the early days I found and for that matter still find that it takes a series of coughs to get mucus up and at times I get a pain across my chest when doing it. The coughs don't all come directly one after the other but often with a gap between. A bit like it starts to move ten another cough moves it along then the third cough it's likely to come up. Bit of a process but at least you get there in the end. Do not force it at each cough be patient it will arrive in due course. A few months of getting it out you will feel clearer. Doesn't improve the shortness of breath however, that's another story.


Thanks Keith it's good to know what I'm going through is a normal process. When I think of a ciggie I also think how poorly I've been which stops me .

Thanks again x

I have been on Carbocisteine for a couple of years, it does work but because it takes a while, it is hard to notice the difference.

Regards the Flutter Pipe, Blowing through a drinking straw in a half glass of water has the same effect, and is £50 cheaper

Carbocisteine didn't do a thing for me but I understand it works better in copd than in bronchiectasis. Now, I nebulise 7% saline, which isn't pleasant but it does help.

You may also like...