British Lung Foundation
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Cant shift this hacking cough

Hi all havnt posted in ages...i have had this hacking cough for a week now, i havnt started my emergency packs of steroids or antibiotics as i dont believe its a chest infection as im coughing up thick and frothy cream coloured sputum, i dont believe in taking cough medicine.... has anyone any ideas on something i cant take just to try and relieve it ( but not honey ) as i dont like it :)

9 Replies

You need an expectorant cough syrup. Check with your pharmacy to see which is best for you.



Just checked with one of our nurses. A cough medicine won't make any difference - you need to start taking your emergency pack - you probably do have a chest infection. Check with your GP if in any doubt.



Thanks for your reply Mark , i am waiting for a return call from the respiratory nurse as i have a supply of Carbesisteine but unsure if i should take it for this kind of cough.


I hope your GP has a Saturday surgery cos if you're not prepared to take your reserve meds then I think you definitely need to go and get checked over. If you start feeling any worse definitely take the meds - there must be some reason for that productive cough and the most likely is an infection

I've tried to ignore symptoms so many times, but have now learned that it's best to leap in at the start, before it does any damage

ff x


thanks for your advise ff.....its not that im not prepared to take them its just the colour of the sputum doesnt really indicate chest infection ( however i maybe wrong ) if its no better in the morning i will take the meds,.Once again thank you :)


I understand dear. Just thinking there must be some reason for the stuff you're coughing up, if that's not something you usually do. But only you know your own chest and how you feel. If the stuff is very thick, the carbocisteine might help thin it enough for you to cough it up more easily, then it's less likely to get infected. Maybe try that tonight and then review things tomorrow? As drugs go, it's one of the safest, provided you've used it before and know you're not allergic to it. Also, obviously, drink plenty to keep your cells hydrated.

love, ff x


thanks so much ff feeling alot better this morning not coughing AS much.:).. as my respiratory nurse didnt get back to me i started the Carbosisteine.

Kazza xx


Hi I had a chest infection like this once. It totally confused me as normally I cough up coloured phelgm. Didn't go to dr for a week til a friend made me! It was chest infection and I had to have steriods, antibiotics and use a nebulizer. Take medication now and if no better see dr...

Bev x


Thanks Bev xx i started taking them this morning.... as it seems when i got up yesterday feeling a bit better ..making me think i was getting better...but no its back with a vengeance


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