Allergic to Antibiotics and Sick - Albuterol Not Helping Much

sameboatOctober 20, 2011

Does anyone else have this problem?

I just found out that I am allergic to the last antibiotic I was able to take (tetracycline). This means no more antibiotics for me. I can't take penicillin, cipro, ceclor, erythromycin, etc. But I'm still coughing, that asthma/bronchitis, whole-body wet your pants cough. I have a nebulizer with albuterol, which helps a bit but the relief doesn't last very long. I also just started a QVar inhaler (something new to market) and my MD has me on prednisone for 10 days. I'm on day 8 and even though I wasn't feeling much better they still tapered the dose. Even though my chest feels tight they said the breathing test was good. Huh?

MD says he just doesn't know what to do for me now. I am scared and I am struggling to breathe. I've been drinking Emergen-C vitamin drinks, doing my sinus wash and taking Mucinex DM to try to flush out whatever is making me cough and to prevent infection.

Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

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I would definitely see a different doctor! What doctor just gives up and says "I don't know" and send you on your merry sick way? Not good. Find someone else, ask around for a good ENT doctor, and best of luck to you. You will find the right doctor, and in the meantime take care of yourself, get rest and drink lots of fluids.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 1:02AM
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Thinking about going to an infectious disease MD to see what they do for people with drug allergies. Still drinking plenty of fluid and actually not coughing quite so much today so something seems to be working!

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 1:13PM
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Try a zinc lozenge- Cold-Eeze makes some that don't taste too bad take just couple a day, the drs have found lot of folks don't get enough. I found it shortened a cold by a couple of days. My DIL has been very sick also with this type stuff. & bronchitis can become chronic which means you have to live with it rest of your life. So try to loosen some of gunk by holding nose shut with 2 fingers & then trying to push out(blow out)- your ears should pop. (sort of feels like you are trying to blow up a balloon) Eye,ear & throat specialist told us that was only way to get it out of some places(hubby had massive ear infections & drums burst several times) it has helped several people I've told about it. Some antibiotics can nearly kill you if you are taking certain vitamins & minerals. 1 you just mentioned made me so dizzy & sick to stomach 1 Christmas day & when I looked it up found that I should not have been taking it without quitting the supplement 1st. Forgotten what it was but might have been magnesium. Also drinking things like Ensure or what ever you are drinking if it has added vitamins, cereals & other things with vitamins can mess you up. Hope this helps some. They said DIL has massive ear infections to go along with bronchitis, headache at back of head ,coughing & stuffed up- said she felt like she had been chewed up & spit out! He gave her an inhaler also. You may have to go to emergency room if you can't get appt. fast. Can go into brain!

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 1:08AM
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Thank you for the advice. I do think the QVar is helping. Coughing not so much now and I have a follow-up tomorrow morning. It's been a very long, slow process of recovery. I was praying for immediate relief. I thought the inhaler and nebulizer would give me immediate relief.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 8:47AM
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Have you tried boosting your immune system with natural substances? Naysayers to the contrary, megadoses of Vitamin C often help. I buy a half pound of powdered C at Trader Joe's for $6. The other antioxidant that has really helped me is astaxanthin which is a natural substance from algae. I had been using a lot of supplements but the astaxanthin really kicked my system into gear. 15 cents a day at Swanson Vitamins.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 6:56PM
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Is there any way that you can get to a Dutch Country Store? There is a tea called, "Lemon Mint",(prepackaged). It has lemon balm in it, this is excellent as it is anti-bacterial, anti-virual, anti-herpes, also says anti-aids. It prevents colds, takes away coughs, sore throats, takes away genital herpes. It is just a Godsend...
I planted one lemon balm plant from Walmart afew years ago. The following year I harvested all of the larger portions of the herbs. I soaked it in a salt solution, rinsed them & allowed them to dry. Then I put them in plastic bags or jars. I drank tea all winter long, then ran out just as spring began. I was able to gather the new growths to make tea to help stop the cold from hitting me....I tell ppl all over all the time about this herb.... : ) this herb is prolific, meaning it spreads. You will not be disappointed when you buy this herb. Your heart will smile & rejoice for what the Lord has given us.
I haven't had genital herpe outbreak in quite awhile. I haven't gotten a cold this year!!!

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 10:46PM
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I will look for the Lemon Mint tea! We have a health food store in town I can try. In the meantime, yes, I have been drinking Emergen-C twice per day. It's a powdered drink mix loaded with vitamin C. It's worked for me in the past if I feel like I'm coming down with something.

It's 4am and I woke up coughing coughing so here I am awake in the middle of the night, all finished with prednisone, no more nebulizer med, and still coughing. The asthma and allergy MD told me my breathing test was excellent. How is it that I wasn't wheezing in his office and yet my chest felt tight tight tight and I was coughing and they still say well your lungs are good. How is that even possible???

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 4:45AM
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So here it is the new year and I'm still coughing uncontrollably. I did go to the infectious disease MD and he said he's not the right MD for me to go to, that I needed to be seen at an allergist. But the allergist is the one who told me to go to him! So I just got Zyrtec antihistamine and Sudafed decongestant on my own and I'm waiting to maybe dry out my sinuses and reduce the swelling. I think it's definitely my sinuses that's making me cough. I've also been using my netti pot and also moisturizing. This is unbelievable. My New Years resolution is to resolve this problem. I am going to call a different allergist tomorrow because today is the holiday...

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 12:50PM
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Have you been diagnosed with asthma? There is such a thing as adult onset asthma, you know. Do you have allergies? If so, then the allergy doc might be able to help you. Otherwise, you need a lung doc - a pulmonologist. Which breathing test was excellent? The one where you breathe into a tube and it measures your output? You need to know what your base output is before you can say that your breathing test is good - this thing is called a peak flow meter, by the way. You need to use it when you feel good, then use it when your chest feels tight - that is the way to know if your breathing is effective.

What are your O2 levels at the doctor's office? You know, when they attach the little clip to your fingertip?

Vitamins and "natural" medicine is fine, but you shouldn't go that route while ignoring traditional medicine. Asthma - if that is what you have - causes irreversible lung damage over time if not treated properly. It's nothing to mess with (I speak from experience here).

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 4:00PM
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You are doing a lot of things....maybe it's just a bit tooo much and your body is trying to cope with it. Ease off from things like the sinus wash. Mother Nature might take a while to get started, but She might be able to do a lot for you.

Could the nightime cough be from an acid reflux problem?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 4:35PM
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Thank you gladys and agnes. I do have asthma, and when I'm in my coughing fits it certainly does feel like asthma in my chest. But the inhaler doesn't last very long. I'm using it way too much. I've even used my nebulizer. When I went to the allergist they gave me the test that you exhale very quickly through a tube and the computer measures it. They said I did excellent even though I couldn't do it without coughing violently at the end of each try, and the thing on my finger was at 98 so I'm getting oxygen. They also said my lungs sound clear. My throat and ears are very itchy and this is even after taking a Zyrtec and Benadryl. I think you're right about the over-doing it with meds and netti pot. I'll try cooling it for a few days and see if my sinuses adjust to no netti pot. I am definitely going to see the other allergist this week (if they can see me). I've been in this boat before many years ago and it turned out to be my sinuses. But I've tried all the tricks they had me do back then and it's not working. I am thoroughly exhausted and sore.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 10:25PM
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If you are still coughing, raw garlic and sage tea seem to work to ease the cough sooner. Though if the cough persists past the 10 day period, or if my throat is burning sore, I do see a Dr. If my cough is very bad, I bite down and then suck on a raw garlic, letting the juice go down my throat. If the garlic juice hurts or burns, I stop, take a sip of sage tea, then bite down on the garlic again, sucking on the juice. You may not need to suck on the juice. Some people swear by a poultice of garlic against the throat. Again if I'm very sick,I get medical care.

Sometimes these coughs can last for quite a while, but I've always been able to lessen the duration with this mixture.

I also sip sage tea throughout the day, and night and that seems to ease the cold symptoms as well. I use the dry sage used for stuffing. I just put a tablespoonful in a tea strainer and pour boiling water on it. I steep for about 5 minutes, then sip it, careful not to burn my tongue. Usually it takes about 2 to 5 days to completely get rid of a bad cough. Sage is strong as is garlic so I don't use it continuously for more than 5 days at a time. I take a break from any herbal I take, as they are strong. Everyone in my family uses this and the Netti for colds and flues. Best of luck getting rid of the cough.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 11:22PM
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The site I've linked does mention reasons why people cough for long periods of time. They mention Postnasal drip and Acid reflux, among other reasons for coughing. Just thought you'd like to read up on it.


Here is a link that might be useful: Chronic coughing for long time

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 11:28PM
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Are you using your controller meds? A while back I felt good, so I backed off on the controllers. My coughing came back, and the rescuer inhaler wasn't very effective. When I went back on the controllers (asmanex and serevent for me), my cough disappeared. I rarely use my rescuer now...although the last week my cough has come back, darn it. I'm thinking of a trip to the doc. Booo!

Yeah, post nasal drip and acid reflux can cause/worsen asthma. Have you been checked for those conditions?

Incidentally, do you use a spacer with your rescuer? You don't need one with the new dry powder inhalers, but you do with the canisters - like albuterol and xopenix (that's my rescuer). They really make the medication more effective, although they can be a bit bulky.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2012 at 11:56PM
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Thank you all. I have an appt. on Friday with an allergist I saw many years back. I had the same problem, and he didn't give up on me until the coughing was resolved. He'll most likely put me back on controller meds and help me dry out the post nasal drip, too. Sudafed, Zyrtec and Benadryl just aren't working. For about 5 years I felt great, didn't need any maintenance meds nor did I need the rescue inhaler. I had a cold in September and it seemed to trigger something that has caught a hold of me. I am going to visit the "chronic coughing for a long time" site right now. Thank you!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 2:24PM
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hmmmm very interesting. I read that "Antihistamines that are less likely to cause sleepiness, such as loratadine or cetirizine, are less likely to help with cough." ...and that's exactly what I've been taking...Zyrtec and Claritin. Neither does seem to help.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2012 at 7:54PM
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Traditional Medicinals makes a tea called "Breathe Easy". It been tested in clinical trials.

Here are a couple of other ideas (links below):

Vitamin B12 Deficiency is a Common Cause for Chronic Coughing

Iron Supplements End Persistent Coughing in Women
How I Cured a Raging Sinus Infection Naturally, with No Drugs-Vit D, etc.

Links that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 4, 2012 at 12:48PM
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FYI, if you are truly allergic (not just having unpleasant side effects) to all classes of antibiotics but really need one, it is possible to go through desensitization in order to receive treatment.
This doesn't sound like you need antibiotics, though. Hope the new (old) MD helps you.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 11:08PM
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The new guy helped, I'm back on prednisone, but no antibiotic. He said it's definitely coming from my sinuses. I'm on several antihistimines as well as nasal steroid, prednisolone and Mucocet DM. He has me using a NeilMed nasal wash twice a day which seems much better than a netti pot and then lubricating my nostrils with K-Y afterwards. The cough has substantially subsided, and I can feel relief on the horizon! Although I am still wheezy, the Mucocet DM has certainly loosened my chest congestion so I can cough it up. He also wanted me to take Tussinex with codeine in it at night but I'm allergic to codeine and was too afraid to take it even though he said I was on plenty of antihistamine to block it. I'm sleeping pretty well now anyway. Better safe than sorry.

talk about attacking this problem from every angle! He said he'd help me and he is!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 3:22PM
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"The new guy helped, I'm back on prednisone, but no antibiotic."

I'm glad your getting some relief. Here is another bit of info to consider asking your doctor about.

Vit D and Magnesium. Do you like garlic? That is a natural antibiotic.

"Garlic is by far the best known among natural antibiotics. It has long been proven to destory harmful viruses, bacterial, fungi and parasites. The active compound in garlic is allicin, which is similar to penicillin - the first antibiotic."

Links that might be useful:


    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 3:53PM
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Hi dreamgarden yes I love garlic and cook with it a LOT. Do you think it matters if it's cooked or raw? Interesting about vitamin D. I never thought to take a D supplement because I used to eat a lot of dairy. But when I get that awful cough I stop milk and ice cream because it makes mucous! I do think I will begin taking a regular multi-vitamin supplement, though, and will look into vitamin D. I've been taking C.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 8:34PM
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Are you seeing an allergist? It could be a very bad allergy causing your cough, etc. If you have never been desenitized to whatever you are allergic to, perhaps it's time to try it.

It doesn't always work 100% but it often works well enough to allow someone to have a normal life. It also takes about two years to reach the maximum relief. Many just give up before then. I stuck it out...(it was a BIG chore) but it was well worth the trouble and expense.

Be sure the doctor is good. If he doesn't think much of a desenitizing treatment, go find someone else.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 11:26PM
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He's the best allergist and yes, he wants to do a scratch test next week. I've been through the allergy shots, etc. Frankly, I can't afford it. And if I could, I'd do it for my son first. He suffers terribly in the Spring. I only suffer like this when I get a cold that turns into bronchitis (every 4 or 5 years) and it gets hold of me and doesn't go away. I've gone for years without symptoms. I'm pretty sure I will be fine now that he's broken the cycle of coughing. I really only get this bad when I have a cold. And the cold just won't go away.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 7:11PM
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I understand. There is a limit to what we can handle, and the chldren come first. Always.

All three of mind inherited my allerigies. The oldest, turned out to be not only allergic to zillions of different pollens, but he was also allergic to the cold virus. That was a pain! However, we had him desenitized to most of the pollens and he was then able to handle the cold virus on his own. There was a big difference.

One thing you said bothers me a bit. You stated that you had had the allergy shots, and that he's going to do a scratch test. Usually it's the other way around. The scratch test is done first to see what the allergies are, and how bad the reaction is. Then the Allergy Shot is designed especially for your particular set of problems.
It shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all kind of shot.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 9:11PM
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Hi Agnes, I had allergy shots when I was in my twenties some twenty years ago. Then I had them again about six years ago. They did scratch tests first both times. He wants to repeat the scratch tests again to see if my allergies have changed. Apparently they do because I was allergic to both dogs and cats in my twenties but then the scratch test came back negative six years ago. I am certain I am allergic to birch, beech, timothy grass and dust mites. So if and when I feel the symptoms I just take Zyrtec. It works fine.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2012 at 10:47PM
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Have you tried to get to the source of other allergies...perhaps get rid of pets, carpets etc. some people are allergic to. I'm just thinking that some of these sources can worsen with Antibiotics?
Perhaps change your diet for a couple of month to see if it helps, a no animal food diet, no meat and milk product,, I'm not into this but a friend is, he swears by this method and he claim's that health had improved allot. Allot of fruit and vegetable.
When doctors can't help, one has to try everything.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:18PM
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