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  • Asthma Cough from Flu - Not responding to treatment

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    Old 03-02-2013, 04:42 AM   #1
    55caligirl
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    Asthma Cough from Flu - Not responding to treatment

    Hi Everyone,

    My asthma is pretty mild and not an issue most of the year. Except when I come down with whatever cold/flu bug is going around. No surprise then that I contracted this year's nasty Flu virus in January. And I have been coughing nonstop since (going on 6 weeks).

    Unfortunately, the Flu brought on a particularly nasty asthma flare up. I have been coughing so intensely I periodically throw up, which is definitely new for me. I started my Qvar inhalor three days into the flu. I was unable to see my regular Asthma/Allergist, but a different doctor put me on a short course of Methylprednisolone. The cough got a little better, then came back with a vengeance 5 days after the methylpredisolone so my doctor switched me to Asmanex. At one point, I was taking my albuterol inhalor 4-6 times a day (probably not the best idea!).

    I finally was able to get an appointment to see my regular Asthma/Allergy doctor, and she put me on a two week course of Prednisone and Dulera. I was downing Hydrocone cough syrup to control the cough, which finally provided some relief so I could sleep. The side effects of the prednisone were terrible, but my cough responded and finally for the most part resolved. I stopped the prednisone a week ago, and have just been on the Dulera and my albuterol inhalor but my cough has been getting worse steadily this past week. Today, it feels almost as bad as when I started the Prednisone!

    At this point, I am not sure what to do. My doctor wants me to sit tight, but I am feeling frustrated to return to work coughing as much as I was a week earlier. Also frustrated that I got better, only now to be getting worse. Any advice? Do I need to be more aggressive about getting new treatment from my doctor?

     
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    Old 03-02-2013, 05:58 AM   #2
    Titchou
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    Re: Asthma Cough from Flu - Not responding to treatment

    I recently had this strain of viral bronchitis that's been going around here. My asthma doc told me it lasts about 28 days - and he was right. I had that same cough. The only thing that saved me was the cough syrup and I sucked down 2 bottles worth. I'd get a refill. The cough is causing the issue with your asthma so you need to treat the cough first and the asthma second...if that makes sense.

     
    Old 03-02-2013, 07:37 AM   #3
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    Re: Asthma Cough from Flu - Not responding to treatment

    I would ask about taking Singulair for a month or so. It can help a great deal in asthmatic coughs and can be used with your inhalers and Prednisone as well. It stabilizes mast cells involved in allergic/asthma reactions. Once a day pill for as long as it is needed.

     
    Old 03-02-2013, 12:18 PM   #4
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    Re: Asthma Cough from Flu - Not responding to treatment

    Thanks for the replies! I took the cough syrup last night, and it helps as my throat is less irritated this morning. I think I will give it a few more days with the cough syrup and if the cough still hasn't let up, talk to my doctor about Singulair!

     
    Old 03-02-2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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    Re: Asthma Cough from Flu - Not responding to treatment

    Just an FYI about the Singulair - it doesn't work for everyone. In fact, a rather large percentage of people see no effect with it. It didn't do a thing for me and I took it for 2 or 3 months and never noticed a single difference. Wasn't worth the cost if it wasn't going to do me any good.

     
    Old 03-02-2013, 03:22 PM   #6
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    Re: Asthma Cough from Flu - Not responding to treatment

    I've had an experience almost exactly like yours this year. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of a flare when my flu hit on New Years Eve. My cough just got better about 1 1/2 weeks ago. My breathing got better by the end of January though. The intense cough lingered. From what I've read, the coughing after flu can last for up to 6-8 weeks even in a normal case. It could be that is what you are experiencing.

    My coughing was severe enough that I had periods of vomiting too.

    To get through my asthma issues, I first increased my Advair. I ended up on Advair 500 for a while. I also added back the Singulair. Then I switched from Advair to Dulera in November. I started using my nebulizer regularly for the Albuterol instead of just the puffer. The nebulizer gets the meds down into the lungs a bit better. I then added Pulmicort as well. I couldn't do the hydrocodone while working so I went through several bottles of Phenegren DM. Even with all that, I was coughing frequently. I'm still on the Singulair, Dulera and Pulmicort flexhaler daily.

    After a while, I started having other issues due to all the coughing too.

    Have you been checked for Pertussis yet? Whooping cough has had a dramatic increase in the last couple years. A few years ago, I had an sinus infection which triggered my asthma and a bad chronic cough. I was treated for those for a long time and still got worse. My PCP finally tested me for Pertussis and it came back positive. Turns out when my body was worn down from the first infection, the pertussis snuck in. It might be worth asking your doctor to test you for it if your cough continues to be so bad.
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    Old 03-04-2013, 04:54 PM   #7
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    Re: Asthma Cough from Flu - Not responding to treatment

    I don't have any words of advice but do want to commiserate with you. I have not had an exacerbation as bad as yours but I am now dealing with my fourth episode since October. I'm on singulair and symbicort 200/6 (which I've bumped up to 2 puffs three times a day as per my doctor's advice). I don't feel like I've been truly symptom free all winter and I'm fed up. I'm starting to improve after this current flare, but am frustrated. It has definitely impacted my activities this winter. Patience and waiting for my meds to work seem to be a big part of this.

     
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