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1061329 tn?1261717514
Help with coughing up mucus
Hello, I have a cold, and it seems to have produced a lot of mucus.   This happens to me about twice a year, and it really does a number on my asthma.  I have a nebulizer and it helps a bunch with coughing up mucus, but too much makes me dizzy.  
I don't have health insurance, so I go to county hospital usually.  But all they do is give me breathing treatments and a shot of prednisone and send me home.  
Now, I have a few prednisone pills left over from last time I was sick.  Can taking these help?  
Some cold medicines that I've tried in the past (Nyquil, Sudifed, Robitussen, etc) seem to make my asthma worse. They help with cold and help me to sleep (which is close to impossible due to the raspy sound I make breathing -- keeps me up) but then I'm always out for a week AFTER my cold because then I'm dealing with just getting my asthma and mucus back under control.
I'm just drinking lots of juice and eating lots of chicken soup, to help with the mucus.  I'm trying to get this under control before it ends up being a week long process, involving trips to the county hospital -- which are useless, in my opinion.  If I don't have apt. I have to sit in waiting room for hours (once I had to wait 4 hours) for a doctor to get a break in their schedule to finally see me.  And then they act as if I'm putting them out by coming in just because I have a cold... I really hate having to go there...
Any help/advice is appreciated!  Thanks so much!
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942934 tn?1268111982
Tricky business when you don't have health insurance, as I can also understand how the ER doctors would feel too. But I can give you a little bit of advice on the prednisone. If you use what you have left early enough into the cold you might be able to get away with say a 3 day dose at say 20 mg/day. That requires you having the total equivalent of 60 mg of prednisone (usually they are in 5 mg pills). I don't know what the usual measurements are in the States, as I live in Canada. But this is something that is only done if you have a lot of experience with asthma exacerbations.

The longer you wait with your cold, the longer treatment you will require to get your asthma back under control. Ideally you really should be seeing a family doctor who can prescribe the appropriate treatment. Typically for a real asthma exacerbation you require 40 - 60 mg/day of prednisone for 14 - 16 days. This should be done under a doctor's care. Because if your asthma gets bad enough, it can even become life threatening. It also causes remodeling to your airways due to the excess inflammation and mucous, which will leave your lungs with more life long problems.

My advice to you is, if you have any money go see your doctor, or if you can't wait any longer, then go into the emergency for treatment. Your asthma needs to be taken care of properly, and your health should not be something put onto the back burner. For now try to drink as much fluids as possible and take hot steamy showers to help thin your mucous. You can also try to using a "Huffing" technique where you try literally push the air out from the bottom of your lungs by making a huff sound. This helps to push the mucous up. However asthmatic mucous tends to be very thick and tenacious, and very difficult to cough up when your airways are tight. But every little bit helps.

Take care and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
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