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Helping the people of Leicester to have long and healthy lives.

Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group

Coughs

Most coughs clear up within three weeks and don’t need any treatment.
Antibiotics won’t help.

Most coughs clear up within three weeks and don’t need any treatment. There’s usually no need to see your GP. You can look after yourself at home by resting, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen.  These do not help you get better more quickly, but they will help the pain.

Seek medical advice if:

  • you’ve had a cough for more than three weeks
  • you’re coughing up increasing amounts of phlegm
  • you cough up blood or are short of breath, or have chest pain (not just when you cough)
  • you have other symptoms, like losing weight for no reason, a change in your voice that doesn’t go away, or lumps or swellings in your neck

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