When to Seek Medical Care
When to call the doctor for bronchitis
Although most cases of bronchitis resolve on their own, some people may have complications. A doctor can prescribe treatments that relieve some of these symptoms.
Severe coughing that interferes with rest or sleep can be reduced with prescription cough medications.
Wheezing may respond to an inhaler with albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin) which dilates the airways or fluticasone and salmeterol (Advair), which dilates the airways and reduces inflammation.
If fever continues beyond 4 to 5 days, see the doctor to rule out pneumonia or other serious bacterial infections.
See a health care professional if the person is coughing up blood, rust-colored sputum, or an increased amount of green phlegm.
When to go to the hospital for bronchitis
If the patient experiences difficulty breathing with or without wheezing, go to urgent care or a hospital's emergency department for evaluation and treatment.
If any symptoms become severe, call 911 for immediate treatment and transport to a hospital's emergency department.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/3/2014
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