Bronchitis Treatments

For example, if you have an upset stomach after taking steroids, your GP may suggest taking the tablet with meals or after food. It’s important to take your steroid preventer inhaler every day, even if you feel well. When they’re inhaled, steroids reduce swelling (inflammation) in your airways. If you’re already using an inhaler, ask a doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking any other medicines, remedies or supplements.

The 43 studies (including five new to this update) covered 4,565 children. The corticosteroids investigated included beclomethasone, betamethasone, budesonide, dexamethasone, fluticasone, and prednisolone. Most studies compared corticosteroids to placebo, although some compared them to adrenaline, to another corticosteroid, or combination of corticosteroids; or compared corticosteroids given in different ways, or amounts.

Professor Michael Moore BM, BS, MRCP, FRCGP

Accidentally taking too many puffs from a steroid inhaler is unlikely to be harmful if it’s a one-off. It’s important to keep using your inhaler, even if you feel better. Possible side effects of these medicines include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, but they are uncommon.

  • Most cases of bronchitis can be treated easily at home with rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and plenty of fluids.
  • Get advice on your medicines, symptoms or travelling with a lung condition, or just call us to say hello.
  • If you are prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis, it is likely to be a five-day course of amoxicillin, oxytetracycline or doxycycline.
  • For chronic bronchitis, the above self-care measures will also help.

For COPD, steroid inhalers are most useful for people whose condition has asthma-like features, like a history of allergies, or when you have both COPD and asthma together. Find out why steroids are used to treat lung conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Some people have long-term inflammation of the airways in the lungs called chronic bronchitis.

How are the conditions diagnosed?

Antibiotics have no effect on viruses, and prescribing them when they’re unnecessary can, over time, make bacteria more resistant to antibiotic treatment. If you smoke, try to stop straight away as smoking aggravates bronchitis and increases your risk of developing emphysema. The current review is an update of a Cochrane Systematic Review that was first published in 1999 and updated in 2004 and 2011. It incorporates five newly published studies and is the first time that risk of bias in the included studies, and the certainty of the evidence, have been assessed with the respective Cochrane tools.

This is because when you’re on high doses of steroids your body may stop producing enough of its own natural steroids to help illness or injury. But if you’re taking high doses for a long time, you may be at risk of some of the same side effects as steroid tablets. If you’re taking a high dose for a long time, there’s also a small chance you could get some of the side effects of steroid tablets, such as an increased appetite, mood changes and difficulty sleeping (insomnia).

A high temperature like this indicates a severe infection or the start of an adrenal crisis. If instead, an infection is likely to be causing a chesty cough, then Echinaforce, in combination with Bronchoforce may work well. These tests can help your doctor determine how well your lungs are working and to find out how impaired/damaged they have become. That, they explain, allows the spores from inhaled air to accumulate .

How and when to use a steroid inhaler

Your steroid preventer inhaler is unlikely to cause side effects, especially if you’re using your inhaler correctly. Bronchitis usually clears up without treatment in around 3 weeks. Steroid inhalers are different to the anabolic steroids that some people use illegally to increase their muscle mass. Some people can use their inhaler once a day once their symptoms are under control.

You need to take this every day to keep down the inflammation in your airways. For chronic bronchitis, the above self-care measures will also help. However, the main goal is to reduce your exposure to whatever is irritating your bronchial tubes. If it’s being caused by smoking, the most important thing to do is to quit smoking to prevent ongoing damage to your lungs and to stop symptoms worsening.

Check if you have bronchitis

Some people may need to continue taking them if they are not eligible for biologic treatments. If you’re taking steroid tablets continuously you should be under the care of a respiratory specialist. You’re most likely to be prescribed oral steroids if you have a flare-up of your symptoms or an asthma attack.