Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from your lungs. People who have bronchitis often cough up thickened mucus, which can be discolored. Bronchitis may be either acute or chronic. Discuss your symptoms with our trained medical staff and find relief today.
It’s important to understand the treatment we recommend and the potential risks involved.
Medicine We Prescribe
Risk of Side Effects
Bronchitis is usually caused by a virus and often follows a cold or flu. Antibiotics usually do not help acute bronchitis, and they may be harmful. Experts recommend that you not use antibiotics to try to relieve symptoms of acute bronchitis if you have no other health problems. Most cases of acute bronchitis go away in 2 to 3 weeks, but some may last 4 weeks. Home treatment to relieve symptoms is usually all that you need. Taking antibiotics too often or when you don’t need them can be harmful. Not taking the full course of antibiotics when your doctor prescribes them also can be harmful. The medicine may not work the next time you take it when you really do need it. This is called antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics may help prevent complications from acute bronchitis in people who have other problems, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), other long-term breathing problems (such as asthma or cystic fibrosis), or heart failure.
Risk of Misdiagnosis
Allergens and irritants can produce a similar clinical picture. Asthma can be mistakenly diagnosed as acute bronchitis if the patient has no prior history of asthma. In one study, one third of patients who had been determined to have recurrent bouts of acute bronchitis were eventually identified as having asthma. Generally, bronchitis is a diagnosis made by exclusion of other conditions such as sinusitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and pneumonia.
Alternative Treatment Options
Relieve your cough by drinking fluids, using cough drops, and avoiding things like smoke that can irritate your lungs. Get enough rest so that your body has the energy it needs to fight the virus. You’ll feel better sooner if you rest more than usual while you have acute bronchitis. Try over-the counter medicines such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin to relieve fever and body aches. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20. It has been linked to Reye syndrome, a serious illness. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.