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What are the Different Kinds of Bronchitis Medications?

Jessica Ellis
Updated May 17, 2024
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Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lungs that attacks the bronchial airways. It is most often an acute infection caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungal growth, but does also exist in chronic forms. There are many different types of bronchitis medications, including homeopathic remedies, over the counter drugs, and prescription treatments. Since many bronchitis infections will clear up on their own, bronchitis medications are usually geared more toward management and a reduction of inflammation that will allow healing to occur.

Homeopathic treatments that serve as bronchitis medications involve a variety of basic home care strategies. Patients should rest as much as possible, to avoid over-straining the body, and be sure to get at least eight hours of sleep each night. Drinking lots of fluids and eating healthy, nutrient-rich meals is also important to prevent dehydration and allow the body to get a jump on fighting the infection. For throat pain and to break up mucous, consider drinking herbal tea with honey and lemon juice. Some homeopathic cures also recommend using a humidifier or inhaling steam in order to loosen up mucous and make coughing more productive; steeping steam water with herbs such as thyme or bay leaf is also considered beneficial by some homeopathic proponents.

Over the counter bronchitis medications can help manage symptoms and allow a person to get through both the day and night a little easier. Pain medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin may help relieve chest pain, reduce fever, and ease body aches. Since bronchitis often includes a lot of coughing, many people take a cough suppressant or expectorant, or some combination of the two. A cough suppressant represses the urge to cough, which can prevent further inflammation. An expectorant loosens mucous so that a person can rid the body of it faster. Sucking on throat lozenges may also help reduce throat pain.

In some cases, doctors will provide prescription bronchitis medication. Since it is difficult to determine whether a bronchitis infection is viral or bacterial, those at a higher risk for complications may be given an antibiotic just in case of a bacterial infection. People with asthma or existing bronchial issues may also be given a bronchodilating inhaler, which can quickly open the airways to allow easier breathing.

People with chronic bronchitis, who are most often, but not always, smokers, may have to use a variety of bronchitis medications to stay ahead of the inflammation. In addition to steroid inhalers, antibiotics against respiratory infection, and bronchodilators, people with chronic bronchitis are usually urged to get regular vaccines against seasonal illnesses such as the flu. In advanced stages, a strong anti-inflammatory medication called a glucocorticoid may also be prescribed.

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Jessica Ellis
By Jessica Ellis
With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis brings a unique perspective to her work as a writer for WiseGEEK. While passionate about drama and film, Jessica enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics, creating content that is both informative and engaging for readers.

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Jessica Ellis

Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica Ellis...
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