at least it's not TB....
December 2, 2009 12:24 PM   Subscribe

MiseryFilter: I have had a dry cough for about 6 weeks that has gotten increasingly worse. I am seeing an allergy specialist as I already know I have allergies. For the last two weeks, I have been on Nasonex, Singulair, and Allegra. Most nights I cannot lie down due to coughing and have to sleep propped up on the couch. I have been doing the neti pot for the last few days, but it's not like tons of stuff is getting washed out of my sinuses when I do it. It just seems to go in one side and out the other. Then I resume coughing a little whlie later. Also, they started me on Flovent as of Monday. I think it's maybe starting to help, but not sure.

Oct 26 I started Adderall XR. About two weeks after that I started getting a dry cough, but it wasn't bothersome. I drink plenty of water, don't smoke, etc.

We moved into our house on Oct 31. There are nice hardwood floors in the entire house and it was already pretty clean. There are no cats, we already take dust mite precautions. (We did pull up wall-to-wall carpet in the entire house before we moved in and then had professionals come in and redo the hw floors. I wore a mask for most of the carpet crap. The previous owner did not have any pets that I know of.)

Other than those two things, nothing has changed for me that I can see causing this awful coughing. Both my GP and allergist do not think that Adderall caused it. They said it's not something they ever heard of. They just want to keep trying different meds for allergies.

My chest X-ray did not show anything. My breath test did not show I was asthmatic. Normally, I just suffer through allergies without meds. This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever put up with.

I have no other signs of reflux and already do all the things that are supposed to be what relieves it as part of normal life (with the exception of the raised bed obviously).

I am just fricking miserable and my boyfriend is really starting to get concerned. I just cough all night and can't get more than 5-6 hours sleep at a time. It doesn't matter where I am or what I am eating/drinking/wearing. I can count on having a horrible incapactitating coughing fit about 6pm everynight, which is when I assume the meds ran out. I take the Adderall in the AM along with the nasonex. the other meds at night with more nasonex since trying to sleep is the most important thing right now.

I am at my wit's end. Sometimes I cough so hard, I feel like I might puke or pass out, but so far I have done neither. It's also really bad usually in the morning when I get up. Steam doesn't help, neither does the cold. Other things that do nothing: cough suppresents and/or expectorants, cough drops menthol or otherwise, nettle tea, hot water with lemon and honey, spicy foods, bland foods, wishing.

I have recently, over the past 3 days, starting actually coughing stuff up, but it's only a very little bit of mucous and not yellow, mostly white or clear. I've had my share of sinus infections and colds and my "production" is nothing like those.

Any ideas on what I can ask my dr about next? I really don't want to stop the Adderall because it has been a godsend, but if this is the price, then it's too much.
posted by sio42 to Health & Fitness (54 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried codeine tablets or codeine in cough syrup form? That is the only thing that helps me sleep when I have a bad cough.

If that doesn't work, ask about vicodin. I was prescribed vicodin cough syrup and it is even more effective than codeine.
posted by pinky at 12:33 PM on December 2, 2009

i have only tried the Robitussin stuff - and it did absolutely nothing.

will codeine help even if it's not a cough from a cold?
posted by sio42 at 12:34 PM on December 2, 2009

Have you had an allergy test recently - the kind where they poke you with a lot of different allergens to see your skin reaction? I've had allergies that have come and gone at different times in my life. Maybe your body just decided that now it's reacting to something it never reacted to before. (One of the times when all my allergies seemed to go away was when I was pregnant. Is it possible you're pregnant [assuming you're female] and your body is reacting this way to a change in hormones?)

Have you changed the detergent you use, especially whatever you use for your pillowcases? Is your new house in a different geographical area, such that you are being exposed to different airborne allergens, like different types of flora or fauna, or even pollution?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 12:35 PM on December 2, 2009

Are you on lisinopril or a statin by any chance? They can cause a really annoying cough. Some GPs don't tell you about this. I just dealt with the same thing and after switching to an ARB and using an inhaler and guafinisan tablets, it went away after a couple of days.
posted by TheBones at 12:35 PM on December 2, 2009

yes - i had the pricky test over the summer. biggest culprits are black walnut, white ash, dust mites, lady bugs, cats, and dogs.

we moved from the inner city to a more suburban area, so the air quality should be better :) i'm in PA so it's not like things are pollinating right now.

the only meds i'm on are:

Yaz (birth control) (for over a year)
Adderall XR 20 mg 1/day (since Oct 26)
Nasonex 2 sprays 2x day (a little over a week)
Allegra 1 x day (same)
Singulair 1 x day (same)
Flovent 2 sprays 2 x day (as of Monday)
posted by sio42 at 12:40 PM on December 2, 2009

Two things helped me shake a really nasty stubborn cough I had two years ago --

1. Sleeping with a vaporizer. You could have a stubborn case of post-nasal drip which is draining down there -- I get this a lot, and it doesn't feel like there's anything "in" my sinuses, but there is. The reason my sinuses are going haywire is because they're drying out, so they go into overdrive producing mucus, which leads to the post nasal drip...the vaporizer helps out a LOT.

but you say that you tried steam, so on to suggestion 2 --

2. Buckley's Mixture. Fuck Robitussin -- it doesn't do squat compared to Buckley's. Seriously -- Buckley's was an absolute GODSEND. I pleaded with a local pharmacy to give me something to just make me stop coughing -- and one sip of this and I stopped coughing within ONLY TEN MINUTES. Seriously.

The only drawback is that Buckley's tastes absolutely, positively AWFUL. Imagine if you melted down a Vicks' mentholated cough drop, used it to brew a tea with pine needles, and then added ground mothball. But holy mother of God does it work amazingly.

It's also over-the-counter, so you won't have to get a prescription.

Give it a shot. Good luck.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:40 PM on December 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

and detergent - haven't changed it. we use 7th generation or other treehugger stuff. i get skin reactions from tide etc.
posted by sio42 at 12:41 PM on December 2, 2009

I had something very similar from last January to March. Ridiculous chronic cough from too much sinus drainage. They put me on nasal steroids, reflux meds, but the thing that finally got it under control was antibiotics. I felt almost instantly better after the second or third dose of Zithromax. Drainage continued but much abated, and cough disappeared. Ask about infection if you're not responding to all the usual (and this is coming from someone who was extremely reluctant to take antibiotics since I believe they're dangerously overused).
posted by slow graffiti at 12:43 PM on December 2, 2009

yeah...humidifer didn't help either... ugh.

buckley's sounds interesting. it makes me think of the cat of that name in a comic strip i can't recall right now. but the cat had a personality like the buckley's seems to taste haha.

will cough suppresants etc help when it's not due to a cold, tho? we are all pretty convicned it's post nasal drip related, but getting the drip to stop seems to be the issue.
posted by sio42 at 12:43 PM on December 2, 2009

hadn't thought about antibiotics...i'll ask at my follow up (which is 12/11 but i may make it sooner - i'm tired of having a headache from coughing and no sleep).
posted by sio42 at 12:45 PM on December 2, 2009

Robitussin has never helped me either. At your next Dr. visit, ask if codeine tablets or cough syrup will interact negatively with your condition/other meds. If not, try it. I had a dry cough for a year (cold turned into bronchitis, turned into reactive airways, turned into NOT SLEEPING FOR A YEAR) and the codeine was the only thing that stopped the cough so I could sleep.

Coughs are complicated. Folk remedies/over the counter stuff only work for some.
posted by pinky at 12:45 PM on December 2, 2009

thanks pinky - will check on the interactions definitely. my med intake has increased from yaz and adderall to a frigging shelf in two weeks.
posted by sio42 at 12:46 PM on December 2, 2009

buckley's sounds interesting. it makes me think of the cat of that name in a comic strip i can't recall right now. but the cat had a personality like the buckley's seems to taste haha.

I think you're thinking of "Bucky" from "Get Fuzzy."

will cough suppresants etc help when it's not due to a cold, tho? we are all pretty convicned it's post nasal drip related, but getting the drip to stop seems to be the issue.

Ah, this is an interesting point. Buckley's comes in a cough suppressant formula, and a cough expectorant formula. I find that the suppressant formula doesn't work as well -- it stops you from coughing, but it leaves the gunk in your lungs, so that when it wears off the cough instinct takes over just as hard if not harder again. But the expectorant formula doesn't just stop you from coughing, it also goes to work on the gunk in your lungs to thin it out, so each time you do cough, it's easier to get that stuff up and out of your lungs, and the sooner that gunk comes out, the sooner you can stop coughing. It may thin some of it out that your body can clear it without coughing.

Try the expectorant formula (not that it tastes any better).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:47 PM on December 2, 2009

ah right Bucky!

so is it possible my drip is dripping into my lungs and solidifying to some extent?
i haven't really been coughing stuff up until recently and haven't felt congested in my chest, but maybe it just got built up over time and my body finally had enough?

i am obviously grasping at straws.

just called the allergy doc and she is giving me a z-pack for fun. i have started getting sinus pressure today of the sort that usually signalled infection (above the jaw in the back) so who knows, maybe it was some weird sinus infection. haven't had one in about 10 or 15 years, but doesn't mean it can't happen.

i'm still open to suggestions etc. at any rate, i am definitely way more empathetic to anyone who has a lung condition or asthma. i can't imagine dealing with this all the time. bleh.
posted by sio42 at 12:55 PM on December 2, 2009

Another thought - do you have a forced air heating system? Just about 6 weeks ago was probably (?) when you first turned on your heat. Do you know if the previous owners had their ducts cleaned prior to selling? If they hadn't, then you might try that. You also might check if you have a whole-house humidifier attached to your furnace. If you do, get it checked, and if you don't, consider getting one. It's sure made dry winters more tolerable for me.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 12:57 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

When I was younger and having a horrible time with my allergies my doctor gave me this weird inhaler to use. I think it was a Nebulizer. It made me really shaky after I used it, but holy crap did it help. It was kind of like a humidifier except that I inhaled the steam directly from the machine, and the medicine went right into my lungs. It really made me feel so much better.
posted by TooFewShoes at 12:59 PM on December 2, 2009

I'm convinced that Buckley's only works because it tastes so bad you're scared to cough again (and need a second dose). That stuff is beyond vile. But yes, it's the most effective over-the-counter cough remedy I've ever had.
posted by deadmessenger at 1:02 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

If it's a really dry cough or just a small quantity of clear sputum, I'd be willing to bet it resembles the one that seems to run in my family, where the more you cough, the more you need to cough. At this point, it probably has little to do with anything in your lungs that desperately needs to be coughed up, it's that the constant coughing has irritated your lungs to the point where they keep triggering the need to cough. Vicious cycle.

If that's the case, the inhaler will help but it may take a bit. Codeine will also help *more* for this sort of cough than for a cold.

I would take an expectorant during the day--anything with guaifenesin in it, there, liquid or tablet--along with something with dextromethorphan (it doesn't work great but it's better than nothing) and ibuprofen if you tolerate ibuprofen well (or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID). Then ask the doctor about something with codeine in it. Stress the inability to sleep, as usually the codeine syrups are at least somewhat sedating.

I get this every time I have a cold if I'm not careful. Once you've been going for a few weeks it'll take time for your lungs to recover. Just be aggressive about it, don't let meds wear off and don't be shy about taking the full dosage.
posted by larkspur at 1:04 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have no other signs of reflux and already do all the things that are supposed to be what relieves it as part of normal life (with the exception of the raised bed obviously).

You say you have no signs of reflux, and neither did I. Nor was I overweight, nor had I eaten any risky foods. But I had a terrible cough every night and would get to the point of nearly vomiting from the gagging. For me, it actually was reflux. I popped one Pepcid and within 20 minutes, all was calm!

So try an over the counter acid reliever (NOT tums or rolaids). It might not work, but hey, you have nothing to lose by trying.

Best of luck.
posted by Knowyournuts at 1:11 PM on December 2, 2009

What did they use on the floors? Were the walls painted?

I seem to remember that cough syrup with guifenesin is good for dry coughs and dextromethorphan is for gooky coughs, it's a mnemoni: g for dry and d for gooky.
posted by mareli at 1:11 PM on December 2, 2009

i did try some pepto the other night on the off chance it was reflux. i took several doses over the evening according to directions. cough cough cough all night anyways.

walls were not painted recently. floors were some sort of low VOC oil and water together based thing. the house was definitely not stinky from it. i know my boyfriend asked for some specific floor sealer thing that gave the least amount of chemicals. he has not suffered any ill effects though.

i will have to see what it is and if it causes allergic reactions in anyone. i hadn't thought of that.
posted by sio42 at 1:32 PM on December 2, 2009

Do you have a chronic low fever? You didn't mention that one way or the other.

I wonder if you have bacterial pneumonia? I had that once and it went on and on and on until I got the right kinds of antibiotics to cure it. But while I had it, I ran a fever of a degree or two the entire time.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:59 PM on December 2, 2009

Every time I've had the long, lingering cough like you describe, it's turned out to be a lung infection. I have a lifelong history of them, and get one every year or two.

For some reason, it seems like every doctor I've ever had is reluctant to believe it could be that without a lot of mucus to back it up... even with the history, and even when they've seen it happen with me a few times. But every time, like clockwork, after they finally give up on it being anything else and prescribe the antibiotics... I get better almost immediately.
posted by Pufferish at 2:07 PM on December 2, 2009

Ask your doctor to screen you for congestive heart failure. If you can get a referral to a cardiologist to get checked out, even better. Your symptoms are very similar to what mine were this time 5 years ago; I had a dry cough, couldn't sleep lying down, and kept getting higher and higher doses of asthma/allergy meds from doctors, including codeine cough syrup and inhalers. I was sick for about 6 months before I finally got diagnosed, and the medications I was on during that time likely damaged my heart further. I had a chest x-ray that showed up normal, so that's no guarantee. I had an echocardiogram, a CT scan, and an EKG before they diagnosed me with an ejection fraction (a measure of heart function) under 10%.

Heart failure is very unlikely. Chances are very slim you have it. On the other hand, because the chances were so slim for me (because I was so young), my doctors completely ignored the flashing red lights that should have said "heart failure!" to them (dry cough and inability to sleep flat are classic symptoms). It's a pretty easy thing to rule out, if they're looking for it, and on the off chance you do have it, the sooner it's caught and treated the less damage will be done.
posted by katemonster at 2:09 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is there any chance you have some kind of acid reflux / GERD? If so, the acid can actually irritate your lungs quite a lot -- I've had this happen, and the impossible cough is one symptom. If that's the case, then menthol cough suppressants can actually make it _worse_.

Another idea: if your cough is caused by allergies, then an air filter machine could really help. Pick one up at Best Buy or a home store, then put it in a small room where you can hang out for a while.

Also: Autumn-onset symptoms could point to a mold allergy of some kind. Were you tested for allergies to molds? Also, if you just moved, it might be worth looking inside the ducts in your house.
posted by amtho at 2:14 PM on December 2, 2009

Yes, since you started the Adderall and then got the symptoms, make sure it's not your heart. Adderall and a heart condition is a bad combo.

Pepto doesn't help with reflux. Try an over-the-counter course of omeprazole, it takes a few days to kick in. Take it first thing in the morning before you eat. Then eat. Then take your Adderall. Adderall can be hard on the stomach.

If you end up completely at a loss, cut down on the Adderall or cut it out and see what happens. You can easily go down to 15mgs or 10mgs a day. (XR comes in 5mg capsules)
posted by kathrineg at 2:28 PM on December 2, 2009

I was tested for molds too and apparently had no reaction.

Have not had a fever that i'm aware of. My temp was normal the one time I took it.

Heart failure ... Wouldn't I have noticed other things too like shortness of breath or chest pains? I have in the past few years ran and skiied with no difficulty. When I workout I sometimes notice that it seems like my heart is going fast but my HR monitor tells me I'm fine.

The dr also gave me something that numbs the lungs and helps reduce the cough reflex. She says she doesn't like giving codeine cause it doesn't seem to help much. But it should help me sleep at any rate.

I am so tired I could go to sleep now. I've had a headache for hours. At least I haven't had the weird coughing fit at 6pm as per usual. I found out what they did our floors with and will check out the MSDS. Low VOC still has VOC so who knows.
posted by sio42 at 3:32 PM on December 2, 2009

Heart failure (and many other cardiac problems) can come on for unknown reasons at any point during your life. I was 24 years old, healthy, and played flag football when I got sick. I didn't have chest pains at all, and didn't have shortness of breath until well into my illness. My major symptoms were the sleep and cough problems, fatigue, low blood pressure, and racing heart rate.

What you were able to do in the past few years means nothing when it comes to whether or not you have a heart problem now. Again, it's very uncommon and it's unlikely that you have it, but you should really get checked out.
posted by katemonster at 3:52 PM on December 2, 2009

Try some menthol cough drops, like Halls. I get an asthmatic cough, caused by inflammation, and menthol is a big help.
posted by theora55 at 4:15 PM on December 2, 2009

Whenever I had a cold, I would have coughing fits that lasted for months after the cold went away. Aside from treating my asthma, the best thing I found at stopping the cough was Tessalon Cough Pearls. They're cheap, but you do need a doctor's prescription. They work by dulling the cough reflex.
posted by Issithe at 4:22 PM on December 2, 2009

Have they given you a blood test? I once had a terrible dry cough which went on for a couple of months. A blood test showed that it was Mycoplasma pneumoniae, also known as 'walking pneumonia'. That website lists a whole lot of synptoms but I had none apart from a general feeling of low-level crapness and the cough, which was uncontrollable and got so bad that I'd feel like puking and would end up with a headache each day from my head jerking around. Check this site too.

It's treated with antibiotics but can be stubborn - I needed to get two courses. Get your GP to do a blood test for it. This is a pneumonia that doesn't show up on x-ray.
posted by andraste at 5:59 PM on December 2, 2009

UNUSUAL Causes of chronic cough

Infectious causes
Tuberculosis—typical or atypical
Endobronchial lesions
Benign — bronchial adenoma, carcinoid tumor
Malignant — bronchogenic carcinoma, metastatic cancer
Foreign body
Interstitial lung diseases
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
Bronchiolitis obliterans with organizing pneumonia, ( BOOP)
Chronic interstitial pneumonia
Chronic aspiration
Masses in the neck/thyroid disorders
Hair impinging on the tympanic membrane
Occult congestive heart failure
Disorders of the pleura, pericardium, diaphragm
Psychogenic/habitual cough
Occupational bronchitis
Enlarged tonsils or uvula
posted by ~Sushma~ at 6:10 PM on December 2, 2009

I am not a doctor - I may also be a crackpot. YMMV.

Stop taking all that shit. Everything but the Yaz. (although, I'm not keen on that, either.)

Get the vents cleaned, if this is applicable - just for good measure.

Do a reductive experiment.

Pharmaceuticals, god bless 'em, have all different weird effects not widely known. You're taking a lot of stuff. It started with the Addderall you say - ding ding ding - start there.

I once went to 8 different doctors to get the easiest and most obvious of diagnosis (endometriosis) and my symptoms were super obvious.

Doctors don't know everything, and sometimes it IS that simple. Maybe it is the Adderrall, even if that is not an often experienced side-effect. Maybe that is specific to YOU. Take nothing for a few weeks, take something else.

I once gained 10 lbs a month on something that didn't cause weight gain... yeah, right. It happens.

Everyone's body chemistry is different. Go with the simple (reductive) answer and work from there.

You have nothing to lose.
posted by jbenben at 6:35 PM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Just an Nth about possible antibiotics. A handful of years ago I had the most annoying cough for months, and didn't even feel sick aside from the cough. I went to the doctor, did the allergy tests, got an inhaler that did nothing. Eventually my doctor put me on a long course of antibiotics, I want to say it was for a month or about that. Bam, it cleared up after that. (I have my suspicions that it may have started from working in close quarters to people who had kids for the first time ever, lots of new kid germs my body had never dealt with-- and I switched jobs around the end of the cough time so I didn't have to test that theory with round 2).
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 6:51 PM on December 2, 2009

I know that going the food route has not helped, but if you still want to try something else: at least one generous helping of *raw*, green, cruciferous vegetables. They are the one thing that has helped me with mysterious ongoing medical infections/problems. (You might be able to get the same effect by steaming etc. but I cannot verify that personally, though well-steamed greens might be a very calming way to prepare for a more restful night).
Of course, finding some foods that combine well with them helps.
posted by Thinkmontgolfier at 6:56 PM on December 2, 2009

2nding Katemonster from personal experience. While unlikely, heart failure presents with precisely the symptoms you describe. I went too long and the result was surgery. It was my pulminologist who caught it and sent me to a cardiologist.

Another possibility is a fungal sinus infection. These are more common than most people think and do not respond to antibiotics as they are not caused by bacteria. A simple nasal swab can confirm this and there are medications that deal with it.

I would seek a treadmill test and echocardiogram to rule out CHF and a nasal swab to rule out fungal infection.

Good luck.
posted by Old Geezer at 7:19 PM on December 2, 2009

Something to consider if it's the sinus/post-nasal drip combo is to go see an Ear-Nose-Throat doctor and ask for a CT of your sinus cavity to make sure it's not impacted, which could be an issue. Seconding the cough syrup with Codeine ... it's great for "calming" things down enough so you can sleep a little. If you lived in the desert, I would suggest you see if you have Valley Fever, which is notoriously missed as a diagnosis in people who don't have all of the symptoms. I've known a couple of people who had similar symptoms as you and then after months of annoyance, were finally diagnosed and treated for it.
posted by cyniczny at 7:51 PM on December 2, 2009

Coming a bit from left field here. While I respect doctors and would instantly use one to fix something broken (like a bone) I rarely take their advice at face value. More often than not, doctors are trained to treat symptoms and not the underlying problem. So nostrums and cough suppressants may stop your cough but not really fix what ails you. If you do have a lung infection or pneumonia, by all means go and get treatment but there's still the question what got you to this state in the first place.
If your immune system is irritated enough to be reacting to something in the environment, my question would be why is it so irritated in the first place? Or how can I strengthen my immune system so it doesn't overreact. In fact, that's been my question for a long time as I have had allergies, low energy and a myriad of related problems on a low-level that seem to have no correlation to anything in my environment.
Except the fact that I'm probably allergic or have toxic reactions to the foods that comprise 70% of the calories in the average American diet, grains, corn, soy, dairy. And these kinds of reactions are far more widespread than people generally realize. As relatively recent additions to the food supply, we're just not really very adapted to eating them.
You can check out more info here or here.
posted by diode at 8:14 PM on December 2, 2009

I'm coming at this issue as someone who not only takes/has taken most of the meds you are on (including the XR) but also as a health professional. Here's my advice:
Stop taking the XR for a few days and see if it gets better.

I know the indications for XR and none of them (to my knowledge) are life-threatening. If you take it for ADD and you are in school, stop taking it on a Friday and don't take it until Monday. XR dries the crap out of your mouth which can lead to coughing. Of course, chronic dry mouth can lead to bacterial infections (normally destroyed by your saliva) which can lead to some form of pneumonia.

Anyways, just piling meds on top of meds is not going to solve your problem. If I went to ten doctors tomorrow with a sore throat, I'd get ten different medications. The side effects from each medication you are taking could be masking your actual sickness. For instance, if you have bronchitis, the dry mouth from the Adderall plus the dry sinuses from the Nasonex could combine to give you a strange set of symptoms not normally associated with bronchitis.

Whatever you do, don't change ten things at once. Change one thing (the most likely culprit, the XR, should be your first). See if your symptoms change or disappear. If they don't, move on. Crazy dramatic changes (like discontinuing all your meds at once) lead to no answers. Medicating each new thing doesn't help much either.

And just for shits and giggles, please ensure you are not running a temp. I assume you aren't since you've been to the doctor's office and that's part of standard vital signs. But, just good to check. A fever can indicate flu. Don't take any z-packs or tamiflu and certainly don't take any antibiotics until you have actual reason to suspect an infection (seriously, do people think antibiotics are fun? Most of them suck worse than being sick...not to mention the large chance of having a severe allergic reaction to a new one).
posted by nursegracer at 1:31 AM on December 3, 2009

update and questions....

Adderall/Dri am seeing my GP today and going to ask about the Adderall causing drying thus causing other issues as well as finding out if i can switch to Straterra or something else. i really can't go without it all - i have tried to go a day over the weekend last weekend and was so awful. even tho i'm on a low dose, it just makes a huge difference in my ability to live. i have been all over the addforum about adderall and no one at all has any issues like what i am having.

House chemicalsthis is the floor sealing line that was used: Basic Coatings they are low VOC. my bf is going to ask specifically which produts they used so i can check the MSDS sheets.

Neti Pot? in my OP, i said i had started using the neti pot. it is only after i started using it that i started coughing stuff up. is this a corellation!=causation thing or what?

Coughing Fit/Tesserol Perles so last night i didn't have my usual 6 pm attack. i took one perle around 630 or so. i actually slept in my bed all night. i could kind a feel that my chest wanted to cough but i didn't have too. i woke up at 6:51 this morning and started coughing and didn't stop for a good hour. i had about 3 of the attacks of serious awfulness in that span and coughed up yummy yellow stuff. maybe i've had an infection all along or it's turning into one? hopefully doc will know.

i'm just continuing to post what happens in the hopes that someone may have something else to add. thanks!
posted by sio42 at 6:14 AM on December 3, 2009

oh, and i am definitely NOT running a temp. my normal is about 96 - 97 and i did check my temp and it not 98 or above, which would be hot for me.
posted by sio42 at 6:16 AM on December 3, 2009

I'm gonna nth the Codeine suggestion. If you have a persistent, mostly dry cough, Codeine is the way to go. I battled such a cough for a few weeks last year. After taking Codeine for 3 or 4 nights at bedtime, my cough disappeared completely.

If you have a lot of drainage or are coughing stuff up, you don't want to use Codeine. As I understand it, Codeine relaxes your body and numbs away the urge to cough. That's exactly what you want if you have a dry cough, but exactly what you don't want if you have a productive cough.

Doesn't matter whether you have a cold or not. If you have persistent dry coughing at night, Codeine is the fastest way I've found to bring it to an end.
posted by syzygy at 7:45 AM on December 3, 2009

Hmm, sounds like you have some lung stuff, maybe they can finally figure it out! Coughing is miserable.

This might not be relevant anymore, but just in case. Talk to your doctors about it because I'm not a doctor, etcetera.

With the Adderall, you can always lower it without eliminating it completely (like from 20 to 15 or 10mgs). I sometimes take a lower dose on the weekend just to give myself a bit of a break.

I don't think 20mgs is a particularly low dose and I'm a little surprised they started you on that (everyone else I know has been started on 5mgs.)

You might also think about trying the immediate release kind so you can have the benefits for a shorter period during the day, maybe with fewer side effects. Or try taking the XR earlier in the day. The Adderall + the cough might be working together to affect your sleep. If you take stuff that makes you sleepy and the Adderall is still working, the cough meds might not work as well.

So if you need them, there are a lot of options with the Adderall besides discontinuing it completely.

Of course, I know how much it sucks to be without Adderall (I give mine a hug every day and a card on holidays) so I understand how that would be a very last option for you.
posted by kathrineg at 10:30 AM on December 3, 2009

ok - just got back from GP.

he said that he has friends who are doctors get some mysterious cough for months and then it just goes away and they can't figure out why.

he said that the z pack would also kill any walking pneumonia if it is that as well as a sinus infection. he said that he agrees with all the stuff the allergy people have been doing and it is standard for mysterious cough treatment.

he said he has never heard of adderall causing coughing like this or being so drying as to cause it. he guesses it is probably environmental and that the flovent in addition to the other stuff should help with that.

he would have given me the tesserol perles if i hadn't been on them already.

if after my follow up with the allergist on dec 11 i am still not better, he will put me on an pill for gerd and take me off some other stuff and see what happens.

so now i just wait....
posted by sio42 at 11:14 AM on December 3, 2009

i did not have a coughing fit last night.

i did not have a coughing fit this morning.

i slept ALL night. i feel so much better.

a friend of mine said she'd bet a paycheck that all i needed all along was a zpak.

i will post again after my follow up with allergy dr for posterity's sake.

maybe this was just a mystery cough after all and not a sign of something more serious.

good to know that happens as well!
posted by sio42 at 6:39 AM on December 4, 2009

YAY. I'm really glad you didn't have to go off of the Adderall. Keep us updated!
posted by kathrineg at 7:00 AM on December 4, 2009

Magic, isn't it? Glad you feel better.
posted by slow graffiti at 10:37 AM on December 4, 2009

so for the past few days the cough has been slowly coming back until i had a huge fit this evening when i came back from work. i barely got in the house when i started hacking and couldn't stop for about 15 minutes. what's weird is that it's not completely disabling, i just walk around hacking away.

when i start getting the coughing, i notice more on my left side. i'm going to mention it when i have a follow up on friday. especially when i am coughing, i notice that i do feel more almost right behind my left breast. i sincerely hope it's sort of weird muscle thing and not a heart muscle thing

i've also been very tired in the evenings, unusually so. i just feel worn out at the end of the day, like i did before i started the adderall.

i am really glad tho that i had several days with no coughing and that i am at least able to sleep. that makes a huge difference.
posted by sio42 at 4:20 PM on December 7, 2009

I'm sorry to hear that. I know that the medication helps and that means a lot to you. There are non-stimulant medications that have been shown to work for ADHD, so please know that there are other options if you end up having to discontinue it for any reason.

Any way you could have been exposed to a kid with whooping cough (pertussis?)

The fatigue coming back might be your body getting used to Adderall and going back to where it was before the Adderall.

Good luck!
posted by kathrineg at 8:24 PM on December 7, 2009

kathrineg - i'm memailing you to ask about the adderall and body getting used to it thing.

my dr doesn't think it's whooping cough because i would probably have other symptoms.

it may indeed be the reflux. maybe my "heart" pain last night was really just heartburn.
i think someone mentioned it here or i may have seen it elsewhere that adderall is really hard on the stomach, so while it may not have caused the coughing, it may have caused reflux which caused the coughing.

at any rate, the next step from my GP and allergist is to try an acid suppressor thing, like prilosec i guess. i'm going to ask them to just start doing tests of any sort like CAT scans or whatever. i'm hoping it's not something in my house.
posted by sio42 at 7:23 AM on December 8, 2009

in a quasi-eponysterical twist, my GP had me take a TB test yesterday just to rule that out.

we think maybe the antihistamines i was on were making me extra tired since i have always been very susceptible to things that make me drowsy. he said i should stop the antihistamines for now, i can keep taking the nasonex and/or flovent if i think they help with allergies.

he suggested an OTC acid suppresor - he said they're all the same so just get the cheapest one. i am to try that. i have a follow up in a week with him.

he is also having me go in to have a full pulmonary function test, not just the lung volume the allergist had me do.

he also wants to have a CAT scan done of my lungs depending on the pulm func test.

also, after we are going to look at different formulations/doses of the adderall.
posted by sio42 at 7:35 AM on December 10, 2009

Have you gotten any better yet? (If you're still reading this.) I was just at the doc's tonight for a dry, long-lasting cough, and my doc thinks it's either asthma or pertussis (whooping cough). Apparently pertussis vacs wear out by your 20s or so, and most cases these days are in adults. And it's increasingly common because so many parents are vaccinating their kids.

The coughing-so-hard-you-(almost)-vomit is apparently pretty key in the diagnosis.
posted by bluedaisy at 9:17 PM on December 14, 2009

Final update -

the acid suppresor worked.

i'm thinking it was definitely adderall induced heartburn.
so i just take singular at night, acid suppressor and nasonex and adderall in the AM.

the TB test was negative.

interesting to hear about the vacs wearing off though.

thanks for everyone's input on this. how strange it is that a cough from reflux can be so hard to pinpoint?
posted by sio42 at 8:07 AM on December 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

YAY! I'm really glad to see this update. Sorry you had to go through such a confusing time.
posted by kathrineg at 9:37 AM on December 22, 2009

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