Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

When you cough up green or yellow phlegm you need to be prescribed antibiotics, right?
Cardiff University ^ | March 24, 2011 | Unknown

Posted on 03/24/2011 6:30:18 AM PDT by decimon

Prescribing antibiotics for patients with discoloured phlegm caused by acute cough has little or no effect on alleviating symptoms and recovery, a Cardiff University study has found.

Acute cough is one of the common reasons why people visit their GP and accounts for a large proportion of antibiotics prescribed in the community. One of the most common questions asked by GPs to their patients is about their phlegm: "Are you coughing anything up?" or "What colour is your phlegm?"

Clinicians and patients commonly believe that yellow and green phlegm production is associated with a bacterial infection, which is more likely to benefit from antibiotic treatment compared to non-productive cough or cough that produces clear phlegm.

However, in a new study published in the European Respiratory Journal, Professor Chris Butler and his team from Cardiff University's School of Medicine, together with colleagues from 14 European centres present data from an observational study of 3402 adult patients with acute cough presenting for health care in 14 primary care networks.

The research found that patients producing discoloured phlegm are prescribed antibiotics more frequently than those not producing phlegm unlike those producing clear/white phlegm.

Crucially, antibiotic treatment was not associated with greater rate or magnitude of symptoms score resolution among those who produced yellow or green phlegm. Neither was recovery among those feeling generally unwell on its own, or taken together with phlegm production, associated with antibiotic treatment.

Clinicians and patients are therefore likely to both be over interpreting the importance of the colour of phlegm in the decision whether or not to prescribe, or take, antibiotics.

Professor Butler, who led the study said: "One of the exciting things about this research is that our findings from this large, multi-country observational study resonate with findings from randomised trials where benefit from antibiotic treatment in those producing discoloured phlegm has been found to be marginal at best or non-existent.

"Our findings add weight to the message that acute cough in otherwise well adults is a self-limiting condition and antibiotic treatment does not speed recovery to any meaningful extent.

"In fact, antibiotic prescribing in this situation simply unnecessarily exposes people to side effects from antibiotics, undermines future self care, and drives up antibiotic resistance."

A single centre study, using different research methods, by one of Professor Butler's predecessors at Cardiff University came to similar conclusions to this new research. Despite this, non-evidence based practice remains common across the UK.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: antibiotics; phlegm
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-56 next last

1 posted on 03/24/2011 6:30:20 AM PDT by decimon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: neverdem; DvdMom; grey_whiskers; Ladysmith; Roos_Girl; Silentgypsy; conservative cat; ...

Ping


2 posted on 03/24/2011 6:31:07 AM PDT by decimon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon

Q: What’s green and carries a rifle?
A: Mucus McCain


3 posted on 03/24/2011 6:32:03 AM PDT by VRWCmember (Veritas vos Liberabit)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: decimon

I believe the antibiotic is to lessen the chances of Pneumonia....which will kill you.


4 posted on 03/24/2011 6:33:15 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon
Healthcare will be a great deal cheaper as soon as they issue enough studies showing that medical intervention is ineffective. They did this last year with a study on mammograms. Women under 50? [shrug] They don't need 'em.

This could be good science. But it sure feels like cost cutting.

5 posted on 03/24/2011 6:35:33 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon
I used to be highly prone to sinus infections.

Since I started using the Walmart generic equivalent of PLAX (anti-plaque dental rinse) two things have happened.

(1) The dental hygienist says I have the cleanest teeth she has ever seen.

(2) I don't get sinus infections any more.

Just an observation.

6 posted on 03/24/2011 6:35:33 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." -- Barry Soetoro, June 11, 2008)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon

"unless you've been eating lime jello with bananas in it...go with the antibiotics

7 posted on 03/24/2011 6:36:02 AM PDT by Doogle ((USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon
Only if you didn't eat guacamole the night before...
8 posted on 03/24/2011 6:36:23 AM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (I am declaring 2011 the year of ME.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VRWCmember

Q: What’s green and figure skates?
A: Peggy Phlegm.


9 posted on 03/24/2011 6:36:46 AM PDT by maggief
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: VRWCmember

Christopher Plummer once unaffectionally called his 1965 movie- “The Sound of Mucus”...


10 posted on 03/24/2011 6:40:04 AM PDT by mikrofon (Most Popular Phlegm of the Year)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: decimon

If your illness is bacterial in origin, the antibiotics may work. If it’s viral, you’re wasting your time.


11 posted on 03/24/2011 6:40:32 AM PDT by edpc (Tagline under construction: Your American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars at work.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon
I've had colds where I have coughed and sneezed up topic subject and these were just normal 1-2 day bugs. I go with fever severity personally when it comes to doctors and getting medicine.
12 posted on 03/24/2011 6:41:47 AM PDT by nerdwithagun (I'd rather go gun to gun then knife to knife.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon
Of course it's indicative of an infection, and of course you will either recover from it or die without antibiotics. However, the chances of the infection leading to something that will kill you are much higher if you don't take antibiotics. Almost every day I read something saying we don't need this med or that med. Usually it is followed by FDA removing a med from the market, a huge price increase in the med putting it out of reach for many poor people or a new reluctance by doctors to write a prescription for the med, because of FDA oversight would be my guess. I do believe they have decided the way out of our financial problems is to halve the population and they are going at it hammer and tongs.
13 posted on 03/24/2011 6:42:04 AM PDT by pepperdog (Why are Democrats Afraid of a Voter ID Law?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sacajaweau
Absolutely! Yellow mucus is infection, green mucus means the infection is healing. Infection untreated can become pneumonia, especially in old people. You don't suppose they want to kill off us old people now do you?? 8>(
14 posted on 03/24/2011 6:42:44 AM PDT by Ditter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: VRWCmember
Q: What's green and skates?
A: Peggy Phlegm-ing
15 posted on 03/24/2011 6:43:29 AM PDT by TonyInOhio ( Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: decimon

When I urinate, I see lots of healthy, bright red blood.


16 posted on 03/24/2011 6:43:37 AM PDT by South Hawthorne (In Memory of my Dear Friend Henry Lee II)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon

Guess this makes sense but I coughed clear phlegm for a couple of weeks and it turned into pneumonia a few years back. High fever, the whole nine yards. Lasted over a month. Felt like I was going to die. Didn’t go to the doctor until I was able to drive. He thought I was rather lucky. Haven’t been sick since.

Green, yellow or clear, go see a Doc if it persists!


17 posted on 03/24/2011 6:46:17 AM PDT by poobear (FACTS - the turd in the punch bowl of liberal thought!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: decimon

This is hardly anything new, for the past 50 years we’ve been told antibiotics do nothing for colds and the associated productive or not coughs but too often doctors still will prescribe them as a “precautionary” treatment.

So now we have super bacteria that exhibit resistance to most antibiotics. Brilliant!


18 posted on 03/24/2011 6:49:16 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: VRWCmember

Q: What’s long, green and yellow and hangs from banana trees?
A: Elephant snot.


19 posted on 03/24/2011 6:50:18 AM PDT by decimon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]


20 posted on 03/24/2011 6:53:24 AM PDT by listenhillary (Social Justice is the epitome of injustice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-56 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson