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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18452
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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what is the treatment for excessive phlegm

Resolved Question:

what is the treatment for chronic excessive phlegm
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
How long has this been bothering you?
Are you having any associated symptoms?
What evaluation has been done to identify the cause of the excessive phlegm?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

2 months , no, no

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

There are two key areas in the approach to the treatment of excessive phlegm. There are some treatments that are general treatments to each the phlegm and there are treatments that are oriented towards the specific cause of the phlegm.

General treatment for excessive phlegm includes medicines that help to increase the hydration of the mucus, so that it is easier to clear, and medicines to breeak up the phlegm. The former medicines are called expectorants, and include guaifenecin, an ingredient in many over the counter cough syrups. The latter medcines are called mucolytics, and include N-acetyl cysteine. None of these medicines will treat the cause of the excessive phlegm, but can be used to help ease the symptom.

There are several specific treatments oriented towards the underlying cause. The most common underlying cause is chronic inflammation of the airways of the lung, called chronic bronchitis, which most often happens in response to smoking. Treatment is most often initially done with a steroid inhaler. Some people can develop excessive phlegm from allergies, and an antihistamine may help treat the problem. Another common cause of excessive phlegm is acid reflux that gets to the level to get into the lungs. In this situation, the usual first-line treatment is a medicine to suppress stomach acid, such as Prilosec or Prevacid.

In general, it would be appropriate to perform an evaluation to determine the underlying cause, so that appropriate treatment of the underlying cause can be initiated. However, until you can be seen, some people decide to try some of these treatments to see if they help.

If you have any further questions or need clarification, please let me know.

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