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Shortness of breath and expectorant cough

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I have been sick for 7 days now. I have shortness of breath I am coughing up mucus and am stuffed up. I am also very weak. I went to the doctor two days ago and was given amoxicillin twice a day for 10 days at 500 mg although no test where given besides strep which came out negative.... I feel better then I was but am still concerned should I go to the emergency room?

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 19 Doctors Online


You obviously seem to have a Chest infection, probably of bacterial etiology. For most cases (not only just strept) Amoxycillin should suffice. But the dosage should be taken as 500mg three times a day rather than twice day (if you are normal otherwise healthy individual ). The low dosage could be the reason for slow resolution.

As of now if the breathlessness is severe ( breathless at rest, trouble in sleeping) you should go to ER. If you have fever, severe tiredness, confusion and rapid breathing you should get to ER. These are dangers sings which might indicate pneumonia. In that case you will require a Chest Xray and another class of antibiotics for better coverage.

So bottom-line is :

1. Watch for any danger signs. If any signs present do not hesitate to contact ER
2. Increase the timing (to thrice daily ) in consult with your Doctor.
3. If there is no resolution in 24-48 (not complete resolution, alteast partial resolution ) you should contact your Doctor .

Hope this helps
Feel free to ask followups / clarifications.
Thank you

Patient replied :

Ok I will take it three times a day.... I feel fine at rest or with minimal activity however I went out to the store a bit ago and I was definitely tired/dizzy .... Should I wait to see if the increase of medication helps or just head to the e/r?

Also to add to this I did not sleep if only but a couple spread out hours last night due to the coughing ... So that might also be why I feel tired/dizzy.

It is bit tough to judge indirectly. I would request you to use your good judgment. Anything out of the ordinary will require ER visit. From what you explained you seem to be Okay, if not completely alright. So you need not rush to the ER for now. Take rest. Avoid exposure to varying temperature. The last thing you want is converting this infection to a Pneumonia.

Hope this helps
Thank you

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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