Cough Relief?

OK, the cough is making me nuts! Benedryl is the only thing I've found that really helps; does anyone have other remedies?

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There is relief! This is one of my pet peeve subjects. I couldn't do anything or go anywhere because of my unpredictable coughing fits that would end up in vomiting. Docs would not help.

Some people on this site have had it so bad that they pass out, and had to give up driving!

But I found relief with Hydrocodone. Docs will only prescribe it for pain; they can't prescribe pain med for a cough, so you have to let them know you have lung pain. They know this works for coughing also, but they hate prescribing "narcotics", so you have to insist on relief.

For now, carry water everywhere. When you feel the cough reflex coming, drink a swallow immediately and it will postpone it for a few minutes. Hall's Lemon cough drops are a little help to keep with you also.

Once your cancer starts reducing, the cough will become less and less; my cough is 99.9% gone during the day! I just take a pill at bedtime to ensure no night-time coughing to interrupt my sleep.

At night, sleep with Wedge pillow and a bedside table Vaporizer. Walgreens has great non-messy "Air-Mister" with its own filter, easy to fill nightly, about $23. Alleviates dryness, so you don't get the "cat hairball" cough. OTC night-time cough suppressants help slightly, has synergetic effect with the hydrocodone.

IDEALLY, if you have a GOOD patient-oriented Doctor, he will prescribe a codene/hydrocodene cough medicine. This will enable you to get some sleep at night! My Doc would only give me 2 weeks worth; didn't want me to "get hooked". WHAT?! I'm schocked and angry that Stage IV cancer patients can get CHEMO poison easier than simple cough relief!

Please keep us posted on your progress!


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My mom is experiencing the same cough. She hasnt got a good nights rest in weeks. She cant even leave the house because when she goes anywhere the cough seems to be worse. I feel so helpless. I wish there was something I could do. She is stage 3 Lung cancer patient. She was diagnosed in December. I wish you well. Also I read the comment above. Thanks for all the feed back. I will look into everything you said. Thanks so much!

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I am going to buy the Vaporizer for my mom today. Her cough gets worse at night so hopefully the vaporizer will help a little. Im pretty sure the doctor prescribed her the Hydrocodone pills mentioned above. Not sure if she took them though.

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Thanks, Debbie!
I realized after posting that I actually have TWO coughs; a wet, post-nasal-drip, allergies cough that responds to the Benedryl, and the dry, raspy cancer cough that doesn't.

My oncologist gave me cough syrup with codeine, but after one bedtime dose a day for four days, I woke with severe stomach cramps and nausea due to constipation. Two weeks of daily pain until I got that sorted out.

My Pulmonologist gave me Benzontate, which is supposed to numb the throat, but doesn't seem to do anything, and can also cause constipation, so I've only tried it twice.

I use a wedge pillow (putting it under the mattress is more comfy for me), and I live in a humid area--it rains pretty much every day. The natural high humidity causes mold, to which I am allergic, so I cough more... Catch 22!

I'll try the Hall's Lemon cough drops. I've got cherry, which don't do much, but I like having an excuse to eat candy whenever I want!

thanks again, and I hope both you and Sherin's mom do better!

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my "cough" has been gone for months fortunately. however, in addition to some of the relief that you have mentioned, I did find that the albuterol inhaler and saline nose moisturizer (kept my throat moist) helped.

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1/2 tab of morphine, the lowest dose they make took care of my husbands cough. See if you doc will give that a try for you. My husband tried everything and that was the only thing that worked.

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Thanks, fhoneymom
I've got the saline solution (note: don't spray it in your dry throat, it tastes AWFUL), and a beclomethasone dipropionate inhaler that was supposed to treat a wheeze which went away before I ever used it. Maybe I'll see if that helps the cough.

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and thanks Denise, I'll talk to the doctor about morphine (that's one I don't have on hand). But I know that's crazy constipating!


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Yes, but there are several things for that out there. Only take it at night if you can so you can sleep and it will not constipate you as much. Funny how you take care of one problem and it creates another, its a never ending battle. Good Luck, I hope it works.

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Have you been checked for fluid on the lung. I had a dreadful cough, and after a scan it was found that i had fluid and a partially collapsed lung. Did find that codeine helped somewhat, but gave me constipation.

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it is true what a previous response said. I had a terrible, constant cough for a long time before my dr sent me for x'ray of lungs, and found the cancer and lots of fluid between the membranes of the lung. The dry coughing stopped after the fluid was drained.. Now i have the wet cough, springtime/allergies, but not much effusion. I take Allegra for that. Btw, i also have COPD and use oxygen and inhalers. My pulmonologist is the best
take care, please, and don't feel bad when people look at you as if you're contagious, just smile and tell them that lung cancer isn't, thank God, for them.

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My husband (Stage IV) has a bad cough. He was taking codine cough syrup plus the anti-nausea meds for the chemo and ended up in the hospital with an intestinal obstruction. In the hospital, they started him on morphine plus Benzontate. He's also taking Senna-kot and Miralax. In the wee hours of this morning, he took both plus his normal meds and now has severe nausea. I think that was just too much for his empty stomach.
He is on liquid morphine and it does seem to help a lot. Liquid morphine is hard to find, so be sure to call around for it. If necessary, they can adjust the amount taken based on the proportion of morphine to liquid. Hope that makes sense.

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Have your doc give you a script for Tessalon Pearls. They work well for most.

Good Luck

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Well, it never rains but it pours. Bill was in the hospital overnight for vomiting, everyone thinks he has gastroparesis, he tried reglan but after 2 days his legs shook uncontrollably. As of today he can eat without vomiting. Instead, he has a terrible cough which starts with feeling like he can't breathe, then he starts to cough uncontrollably and gets exhausted. It goes on all night long. He has homotropine/hydrocodone cough syrup, he added benedryl, he added klonipin, nothing has helped. Has anyone else been through this and does it ever get better? He suspects he has pneumonia (chronic) because his sputum tends to be yellow, they did a culture in the hospital but no one ever got back to us. He has taken antibiotics off and on for a long time with little change. As of his last petscan, last week, his right lung is completely full of something white, don't know if it's cancer, scar tissue from radiation, or pneumonia, or all three. Twice they have sent him to the hospital for a pleural drain only to be told by the doc there that there isn't enough to drain. I only know that he is really sick and suffering and don't have any idea what to do. Susan

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After being hospitalized with pleural edema (where your lungs and chest fill with fluid), I had a terrible cough that sounded like a deep honking noise. I took antibiotics just to make sure there wasn't an infection.

My pulmonologist explained that my throat was probably still irritated by the pulmonary edema so that was contributing to the cough, but he though it was mainly due to post nasal drip. I tried cough medicines which didn't help too much and was constipating. Elevating the head with the wedge pillow helped somewhat too. I finally got it under control by using Flonase nasal spray and Zyrtec and now it is completely gone. I have a lot of allergies and had stopped using Flonase when I was diagnosed with Glaucoma. It really helped when I started using it again.

I also had a cough after I was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. That went away after starting chemo since it was a cancer cough.

It is essential to know what is causing the cough. Thanks to the above contributors for the info about options for controlling a cough caused by cancer. I may need them someday.

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