Frequently Asked Questions

Acute Cough

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What is an acute cough?

An acute cough is a cough that lasts up to 3 weeks. It may be caused by the common cold, allergies, or an infection. Conditions such as COPD and asthma may also cause an acute cough.

How is an acute cough treated?

An acute cough usually goes away on its own within 3 to 4 weeks. Ask your healthcare provider about medicines you can take to decrease your cough. You may need medicine to treat allergies or decrease swelling in your airways. If you have a bacterial infection, you may need antibiotics.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • Your cough does not get better within 8 weeks.

  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You are breathing fast, or you have trouble breathing.

  • You cough up blood, or you see blood in your mucus.

  • You have a fever, and you are coughing up yellow or green mucus.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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