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British Lung Foundation
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Not sleeping due to rattling phlegm

Hello everyone. Need some advice about phlegm in my throat at night. I have COPD stage 4 and the older I get the worse it gets. Huff coughing used to clear it for long enough for me to get to sleep but won't work any more. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions? I sleep with a lot of pillows and never lie flat. Don't want to end up spending a fortune on stuff thay won't work. Thanks all

10 Replies

That's one for the doctor I think Festie..take care


I take Mucus Relief DM even before I go to bed. I also take it in the morning. It thins out the saliva in your throat! It doesn't cost much either! Try it! Hope it helps! Janet127


Hi I use carbasistine probably spelt that wrong, but I use it every night after ipatropium I get off the doctor, it helps for me, of course the doctor always tells me drink loads of water or whatever to thin everything down so I've always got plenty to drink at the side of my bed too. I really hope you get some help with that as it's the worst feeling when you feel like your going to choke with it. Good luck. Maureen x



I only have one pillow and take a dose of cough linctus ( Buttercup syrup) before settling down. That can help me to "huff it up".I know what it's like, so you have my sympathy. Hope you can get some respite soon.


Hi I take carbocysteine 3 times a day for bronchiectasis also use an acapella to clear mucus build up



Hi, I had something of the same problem, I now have a hospital bed (that came through the local palliative care team so I did n't have to but it) which adjusts to approx 80 degrees, it takes time to get used to sleeping virtually upright but it does keep the chest clearish. I also have, to get the mucus moving, a small gadget from clement-clarke.com, it's about 70mm long, circular with a sort of filter. You "huff" into it and things start to move, the other thing that helps is an acapello into which you also "huff" but you need to do it a little longer.

Have you tried Carbocisteine tablets, available on prescription only they also help to loosen the mucus.

Pillows tend to fall off during the night which I don't always notice until the mucus builds up, then I wake up coughing.



Hi there....have u used an aerobika, which is a hand held device to clear mucos....the vest is also good


I eat a dry peice of toast when it sticks in my throat works great


Thanks for all your replies. Love this site. So many people prepared to help with such experience


Does anyone know what other treatments are available on the nhs apart from transplant


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