Font Size
A
A
A
...
8
...

Bronchitis (cont.)

Chronic Bronchitis Medical Treatment

Patient Comments

Treatment of chronic bronchitis can differ depending on the suspected cause. There is no cure for chronic bronchitis, and treatment is aimed at reducing symptoms and improving lung function.

  • Medications to help suppress the cough or loosen and clear secretions may be helpful. If the patient has severe coughing spells that cannot be controlled, a doctor may prescribe prescription-strength cough suppressants. In some cases, only these stronger cough suppressants can stop a vicious cycle of coughing which leads to more irritation of the bronchial tubes, which in turn causes more coughing.
  • Bronchodilator inhalers will help open airways and decrease wheezing.
  • Albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin) and/or ipratropium (Atrovent) nebulizer treatments may be recommended.
  • Corticosteroids may be prescribed to decrease the inflammation in the airways. These may be used as inhaled corticosteroids such as fluticasone (Flovent) and budesonide (Pulmicort), or taken orally such as prednisone and methylprednisolone (Medrol).
  • Though antibiotics play a limited role in treating chronic bronchitis, they become necessary in some situations.
    • If the doctor suspects a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.
    • People with underlying chronic lung problems may also need to be treated with antibiotics.
  • In severe cases of chronic bronchitis, home oxygen may be necessary.
  • In rare cases, the patient may be hospitalized if they experience breathing difficulty that doesn't respond to treatment. This usually occurs because of a complication of chronic bronchitis, or in individuals with other underlying lung problems.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/15/2014
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to Bronchitis

Asthma
Asthma Asthma is a disease that affects the breathing passages of the lungs (bronchioles). Asthma may be caused by genes and environmental factors. Asthma causes wheez...learn more >>
Asthma in Children
Asthma in Children Children account for 47.8% of asthma-related visits to the emergency department. Asthma symptoms include wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. Treatment focu...learn more >>
Asthma in Pregnancy
Asthma in Pregnancy Experiencing an asthma attack during pregnancy may deprive the fetus of oxygen, so it's important to continue taking the asthma medication that you took before ...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Bronchitis (Chronic):

Chronic Bronchitis - Experience

Please share your experience with chronic bronchitis.

Chronic Bronchitis - Medical Treatment

What medical treatments have been effective in treating your case of chronic bronchitis?

Chronic Bronchitis - Home Remedies

What home remedies have been helpful in treating your symptoms of chronic bronchitis?

Bronchitis - Diagnosis

How was your bronchitis diagnosed?

Bronchitis - Length Symptoms Lasted

How long did the symptoms of your bronchitis last? Was there anything in particular that helped with pain/symptom relief?

Bronchitis - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with your bronchitis?




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Bronchitis »

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, or bronchi.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


Medical Dictionary