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Cough

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR DOCTOR

This list of common questions about cough will help you discuss your concerns (including medication) with your doctor.

TAKE THIS SHEET TO YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT AND USE THE SPACE PROVIDED TO WRITE DOWN YOUR DOCTOR’S COMMENTS

Questions

I have a cough and a buildup of phlegm. Should I be worried?77

The phlegm should clear up on its own. If not, there are some self-help techniques (cool-mist humidifier and drinking enough fluids)1 and over-the counter medicines to relieve symptoms. Consult your physician before the use of any pharmaceutical product.

Should I take antibiotics for my cough?78

Most of the time, infections are caused by viruses like the common cold and do not require antibiotics. Check with your doctor if a bacteria is causing your cough, only then antibiotics are recommended.

Is it recommended to take cough suppressant medicines?78

More important than just suppressing your cough is to understanding the cause of your cough. Once the cause of the cough is known, cough suppressants may help decrease the intensity and frequency of cough.

How to get rid of cold and cough while I am pregnant?79

During pregnancy, cold and cough are common. Doctors discourage the taking of unnecessary medicines. In order to get rid of the cold and cough, it is advisable to try out some home remedies (e.g. saltwater, ginger, hot drinks, turmeric, etc.)

Is it a cold or the flu? How can I know the difference?41,80

The flu and colds are caused by different viruses. Flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms are more intense. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems while the flu can lead to very serious associated complications.

Here are the main differences between cold and flu:

Signs and symptoms Flu Cold
Symptom onset Sudden Gradual
Fever Usual Rare
Aches Usual Slight
Chills Common Uncommon
Fatigue, weakness Usual Sometimes
Sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat Sometimes Common
Chest discomfort, cough Common Mild to moderate
Headache Common Rare
Duration of Symptoms Resolves rapidly
after 2-3 days
although fever
may last up
to 5 days.
Lasts approximately
7 days