British Lung Foundation


I have had a shadowing on my left lung for eight years. I am seeing a specialist at the hospital every six months and when it was first found I had brushings and scrapings from my lungs, nothing nasty was found, but haven't been given any treatment. At my last appointment, it was found that I have now got shadowing on my right lung. For the last three month, I have developed an annoying cough which disturbs my sleep. and is getting worse. I visited my GP and saw a nurse practitioner who informed me that the hospital consultant has diagnosed, Bronchiectasis. The nurse practitioner prescribed me with Amoxicillin 500mg and told me to go back to him if it was no better after finishing them. I have today been back and he has prescribed Doxicilline 100mg as these are a stronger antibiotic. I am now wondering why I was not prescribed any medication when it was first found. Can anyone help?

6 Replies

hello ruthalem. When you have bronchiectasis you need to be under the care of a bronchiectasis specialist. Not just a GP. Certainly not a nurse practitioner who is doling out random antibiotics without knowing which bacteria is in your lungs and ( this may surprise you) not a general chest consultant who will claim to have expertise in bronch but I can tell you that most of them don't. Bronchiectasis is very different to COPD and needs very different care.

Bronchiectasis needs a complex system of care involving the right antibiotics delivered in the right doses and appropriate ways - orally, Nebulised or IV depending on the need at the time.

It also requires self administered physiotherapy to keep the lungs clear and your bronch specialist should access help from a physio to teach you this.

Bronchiectasis specialists are usually based at big teaching hospitals. Look on the net for the nearest one to you then go to your GP with the name. Tell them that you want a referral. Don't take no for an answer.

The specialist will then tell your GP how to treat you. My main relationship for my bronch is with my specialist through her secretary. I use my GP to prescribe whichever antibiotics I need. My GPs are happy with this as they admit that bronchiectasis is a puzzle.

Good luck. I hope you get sorted out.


Thank you for this reply, I didn`t realize my complaint was as serious as this, being as I have been seeing a consultant for eight years. I went to my GP because my next appointment for another scan and to see the consultant again isn't for another five weeks and was really coughing a lot and losing sleep. I`m at a loss now as I don`t want to seem to be telling my GP that he and the consultant are not treating me efficiently for this complaint. As the antibiotics do seem to be having an effect as I am not coughing quite so much, could this diagnosis be wrong? I really don`t know what to do.



well, you have five weeks in which to hope that the abs work. You could just have a virus at the moment which is giving you the troublesome cough. The abs that you are taking may then cover against a secondary bacterial infection. I suggest that when you see your consultant next you go over all of this. Ask them if their diagnosis is indeed bronchiectasis. Then go through with them how they intend to treat and manage it. They should then write to your GP telling them what you need. You should also have a copy of the consultant's letter. I am surprised that as you have been seeing a consultant for eight years you have only just found out that you have bronch. Hopefully after you have seen your consultant there may be more communication. I would suggest that you look your consultant up on the internet and find out if they specialise in bronch.

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Thank you littlepom, I have found an article on the web about Bronchiectasis, under NHS choices and after reading it I am very concerned so I have printed it out and will take it with me to my next appointment. It does say that (f you have bronchiectasis, your clinical team may pass information about you to the National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Diseases Registration Service (NCARDRS).

A clinical team, I feel after reading this article, I don`t even have anyone that seems to knows much at all about this disease because I haven`t so far been given any help until this last couple of weeks when I was prescribed antibiotics. I am feeling really angry and worried. If it hadn`t been for your reply, I would still be in the dark, so to speak.

Once again thank you.



Hi ruthalem NHS choices is a good sensible site. Knowledge is power. Hopefully it will be onwards and upwards for you now. I am sitting in the QE in Bham having just seen my lovely bronch specialist and agreed to take part in a study of tobramycin by inhaler and having xray to check my empyema has gone. X


Thank you for all your help and I hope everything goes well for you. I really am feeling better today and hardly coughing at all so I`m hoping that the consultant was wrong about his diagnosis,

Thank you again for your input.



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