Bronchiectasis Question: Hello All I... - British Lung Foun...

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Bronchiectasis Question

asimmd profile image

Hello All

I have COPD and Bronchiectasis,I am under the Consultant at the Hospital who,after looking at my CT Scan results said he was not concerned about my COPD as it was very mild.

I have had all the symptoms of a chest infection for the past 4 weeks,and I have been into hospital for tests.

No infection was found,but I was told my tubes are inflamed and they gave me Steroids,which have now finished.

I had to go to my GP last Tuesday I was vety ill,and I was immediately put on Amoxicillin 500 3 times a day.

Today,Saturday I am starting to feel a bit better,but the constant coughing trying to get the mucus up is really worrying.

It is not coloured anymore,so I presume the infection has gone,but 2 questions.

How long can I keep coughing up stuff.

I was given Azithromycin at the Hospital,I had 1 last Wednesday,1 on Friday.

Will these help,and how long do they take to have a noticeable effect.

Sorry for the essay


18 Replies

Hi asimmd. I can't answer your question about antibiotics but for the mucus my doctor gives me Mucodyne. It helps loosen up mucus. I must say that it doesn't work for everyone though.

Thanks Puff,I tried Mucodyne and it did not work for me.

I just wonder how long the mucus production will go on for now the infection seems to have gone.


Mucus tends to be an ongoing problem for most of us Alan, but there are other things you can try. Have you been to a rehabilitation course? If not, ask your doctor about one. They teach you to clear the mucus, and lots of helpful things to manage your condition, as well as gentle exercise etc.

Best wishes.

Thanks ingy

Yes I have done the PR course,but the exercisses to clear the mucus,such as huff do not seem to work for me.

I have been back to the Physio dept to check am doing them correctly,which I am ,but they don't seem to have much effect.

Guess it's just one of those things I will have to put up with.

Feeling better today for the first time in 4 weeks.


Hi, I have bronchi entasis as well, have a chest infection and a cold on top, I cannot clear my chest. I have coughed so much my ribs and muscles are painful. Am on antibiotics and steroids, but it doesn't seem to be going. Am also on mucodine which is not helping for this infection. Feeling pretty rough, you have my sympathy, I know how you feel. Take care x

pollyjj profile image
pollyjj in reply to Shirleyj

I sympathise, I used to be like this until I was put on Azithromycin permanently mon, wed and friday. I am so much better now. That was 18 months ago and not wanting to temp fate but I have not had a chest infection since.

Hope you are feeling better soon.

polly xx

Shirleyj profile image
Shirleyj in reply to pollyjj

Thanks Polly, back to the consultant in March, I wonder if they will offer me that. Have had about 7 chest infections this year. Take care, Shirley x

Hi Alan

I am just wondering if you have a respiratory consultant who has a special interest in cystic fibrosis who would defo be very clued up on bronchiectasis.

The constant cough is obviously a concern to you. All bronchiectatics are different, in that some of us cough very little and gunk is pale, but I would say the majority of us cough up quite a lot of gunk and this varies in colour (I come under the copious amounts of green/yellow). I am concerned your physiotherapist only appears to have taught you huffing which alone may not the best technique for you. We are all different too in the methods we prefer to get rid of the gunk. No matter the main thing is to find a method which is right for you and this is what your physio should be doing. Physio should also be showing you helpful gadgets i.e. acapella: flutter - all designed to help you get up the gunk. Most of us have to do a session or more a day of physio of some kind to get up the gunk so that it is not laying in your lungs getting infected.

As you don't tolerate Mucodyn (I don't either) you might want to ask you consultant if he/she thinks nebulising saline will benefit you.

It sounds as though you have been prescribed Azithromycin as a prophylactic - that would be the case if you have to take it Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They are not used in that case as a treatment for an infection but they are helpful in 2 ways - they help keep down inflammation in your lungs and they help prevent some bugs who like bronchs forming a protective barrier around themselves. Many bronchs I know find them to be of great benefit and have less infections. Sad to say I don't tolerate them either - wish I did.

The main aim of all bronchiectatics is to prevent further damage to the lungs, so you can see getting the gunk out of your lungs is the best thing you can do to help yourself. I wonder did your consultant or gp refer you to the physio and did the physio specialise in respiratory. Check out too what your consultants special interest is - you can do this on your local hospital site or Dr. Foster. If you have any probs with this you can always pm - I have a list of cf centres and docs in major cities.

Good luck with your treatment.

Love C xxx

I returned from staying with my daughter, today, having sustained yet another chest infection (bronch) and feel really down with it. Then I read these letters which have been really helpful. I am on Augmentin.. |I| just dont know why but a lot of chest infections have happened when I visited in Lymington. I have read everything and made notes, SO BIG THANKS everybody and a bug free Christmas Love Annie 80


Our cofdrop has more or less covered it all! like her I produce copious amounts of sputum and cough on a daily basis, sometimes relentlessly. I too am on azithro 3 times weekly. Think it does help a bit! Like Annie I wish you all a bug free christmas! x

Many thanks for all the replies,knowing someone else understands helps a lot.

The consultant gave me a new inhaler called Spirive Respimat,but I have had it before and I ended up in Hospital with the same symptoms I have now.

I have proved that I can't tolerate Dry Powder inhalers,so as an experiment,I will not take the Respimat tomorrow.

I was OK this morning after I coughed up my usual gunk,but I have got worse after taking the Respimat,that's the only thingI have had different,other than the Azithromycin,and I have only had 2 of those.


Hi Alan

You don't say what the symptoms are but if they are the same as when you took the Spiriva Respimat which effected you badly enough to end up in hospital, you might want to visit your doc to talk this over soon as.

Incidentally many of us put in a sample at the beginning of an infection and have a supply of antibiotics at home, especially handy if you get ill over the holidays or weekend. You may want to talk this over with gp too. They should give you a microbiology form and sample pot.

Hope you get this sorted out and feel loads better soon.

Love C xxx

Symptoms are stuffy nose,rasping cough,generally feeling not well.

I am on Amoxicillin 500 3 times a day,but they finish Monday.

I am going back to the Doctors Monday,but I don't aspect he can do anything.

I have had Spiriva before which caused the same symptoms,I have not take it today,Sunday,and the constant coughing has eased.

I was discharged from the Hospital a week ago after having spent 1 night in for tests.

They said it was Bronchitis and it would go on it's own,but no- one knows how long it will take.

I honestly don't remember being this ill for this long before,and it becomes quite worrying after this long.


Hi Alan

Glad to hear you are going back to the docs. Please don't feel he can't do anything - he can. I know how draining and depressing constant persistent infections can make you feel as I have been colonised with heamophylus since last Christmas, but we have to keep on fighting and hope the pesky pets lodging in our cosy lungs get a drug eventually which will give them the heave ho. Hope he sorts things out for you re the infection and your concerns re the Spiriva.

Let us know how you get on.

Love C xxx

I also have COPD (Bronchiectasis), I'm on spiriva and seretide.

I used to be on spiriva and onbrez, but after a week or so, the onbrez made it more difficult to breathe. So now I'm on spiriva and seretide.

The seretide I take twice daily (7AM.7PM) and my goodness, does it work wonders for me.

Is anyone else on the Seretide ? And what do you think about it.

I get very little gunk come out of my lungs. The only time i get the gunk is when i ride my bike, and then it's very little and clear. I put it down to the fact that I take a zinc tablet, and a vitamin B12 tablet every day. (With brekky) They are really excellent for boosting the immune system.

My house mate is a school teacher, and he regularly comes home with all kinds of coughs and colds.

But they never get me. Before I started on the B12, Zinc trip, I could get a stuffy chest just looking at someone. Ive been taking them for 18 months now and not a sign of a flu. It's definitively worth a shot.The B12's can be expensive, so shop around online.

Take care people.

Quick add on.

The B12 and Zinc wont cure lung infection, but will put up a damn good fight against the infection.

Thanks everyone

I went to the Doctors this morning and he said it was looking like a Virus.

As the Hospital could not find a cause,and the Antibiotics are no working.

He gave me a Fluticazone Nasal Spray to try and damp down the Inflamation in the Sinus and URT.

I take 2 puffs into each nostril each morning,reducing to 1 puff each nostril when the symptoms

calm down.

Oh well,hope I am better for January,going to have an Op to see if I have Prostate Cancer.

It never rains does it.


Hi I also have Bronchiectasis and mucus is the hardest thing ever to get rid of. I am now resigned to the fact that it is with me for ever and I really struggle to get it up with the huff idea. The only thing that really helps me to any degree is to use my nebuliser with both saline and salbutamol in it approx 3 times daily. Really helps

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