British Lung Foundation
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When should I pull the trigger on my emergency supply of Antibiotics?

Started with a head cold and bunged up nose on Thursday, my throat started to get a bit sore Friday and tonight I have developed a dry'ish cough and I'm getting back pain so I'm a bit concerned it might be getting on my chest, my chest feels clear at the moment and no temperature, but I am more wheezy than normal.

I was diagnosed with COPD last December, I have been reasonably well this year and managed to avoid picking up any bugs, so this is the first since I was diagnosed that I have had anything of concern and typically I get it at Christmas! I'm good at getting ill at this time of year and it's my turn to cook for the family! lol

So a little unsure if to start taking the Antibiotics now or wait until I have more conclusive signs that it is on my chest such as a temperature and coughing stuff up?

Cheers Shaun hope you all have a good Christmas :)

8 Replies

Phone nhs direct they will be happy to advise you.the number is 0845 4647


Yep - got to agree, phone for advice. Either NHS Direct or even your own GP out-of-hours service. If your chest feels clear then hold on taking them, it could just be a cold or flu.

Once you've used your backup meds a few times you will get to know your own trigger point, where you need to start taking the AB's. Most of the time it's when you start to cough up green phlegm, but consult your GP is you can to talk through it if you're not sure.


Yes do agree, run the situation past your GP, out of hours if necessary or NHS Direct. Perhaps it is more important to start to take your steroids than your AntiB's, well initially anyway. Hope you have some? This will help with any inflammation and then after a couple of days if not improving then add in the AntiB' s. also important is to finish the course of whatever you end up taking.

Hoping you feel better very soon, and wishing you a Happy Christmas.



My respiritory nurse say's hit it hard and hit it quick with the antibiotics and steroids before anything take's hold.


If, if, if, it's an infection taking hold then yes, clobber it. Shaun says his chest is clear, so he's unsure if he should take the medication as he's not been in the situation before, hence suggesting he get telephone advice ASAP.


Whats to do. With Christmas so close its got to be best to get on that phone as you say ASAP and take no chances.


Getting advice is the best idea if unsure of what to do Shaun. As Gordon says, when you have used the backup AB a few times you will know the triggers. Hitting it hard is good but if there is no infection there then they won't help really. Good luck to you and get well soon. Enjoy your Christmas and try not to overdo it. Easier said than done, I know. xxxx


Thanks for the replies guys after sleeping on it I think I was panicking a bit last night due to the fact I know how hard it can be at this time of year to see a doctor. I don't feel any worse in general than I did yesterday and my chest is no worse, I broke out my peak flow meter this morning and I'm blowing around 350 which is normal for me, so long as I keep an eye on myself think I should be ok :)


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