Many of us have struggled with bronchitis, but it’s probably a bit more complicated than you think! Here is Dr. Short’s advice for how to deal with that pesky, lingering cough often labeled as bronchitis:
For your symptoms I recommend trying to clean up the sinuses, as most often the sore throat and bronchial inflammation (“-itis”) is due to mucus draining from the sinuses into the lungs, called post-nasal drip. Patients often describe this as “moving into my chest” as that’s exactly what’s happening. Medications like Sudafed work quickly to dry this up. Sudafed is a brand, but the medication “pseudoephedrine” is the behind the counter medicine that actually works (you don’t need a prescription, just a form of ID). Don’t buy anything that doesn’t have “pseudoephedrine ER 120mg” on the label, “phenylephrine” is not what you want.
For aches and pains I recommend taking both ibuprofen 600mg WITH acetaminophen 1000mg every 8 hours, they work synergistically!
I also recommend drinking at least 3-4 liters of water a day to help thin the mucus, and it just feels good to be hydrated ya know?
Big caveat to note, here: some people should not take Sudafed/pseudoephedrine, acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin). Please, please double-check with us before you embark on any of this self-treatment.
A quick explanation on why I don’t recommend any antibiotics for this:
There’s a big push in the medical community to not treat bronchitis with antibiotics, because multiple high-quality studies show they don’t shorten the duration or improve symptoms (even for bacterial bronchitis, weird I know). These recommendations come from the Infectious Disease Society of America, which is what sets the guidelines for all infectious disease specialists and all antibiotic use guidelines.
As always, reach out to us directly if you have questions or concerns about your health.