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A long lasting cough and underarm lump

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I've had a cough since December 2nd-4th. I've seen a doctor and had blood tests and an x-ray done, but neither yielded any results. The doctor prescribed anti-biotics and sent me on my way. The anti-biotics didn't help at all, my cough still persists, and I have new symptoms. There is a small, (sometimes extremely)painful lump in my right armpit. I have seen the doctor about this, also, and had an ultrasound performed on it. The ultrasound's official results I have yet to receive(the medical community near where I live is astoundingly slow and unreliable), but the nurse who did the ultrasound said it appeared to be an inflamed/swollen/infected lymph node and that when the radiologist reviewed it and sent it to my normal care doctor, my normal doctor should prescribe more anti-biotics.
I feel as if I'm getting nowhere with the anti-biotics and the negative blood tests. I've had little outbreaks of a severely sore throat in the past year, maybe 3 times, with blood tests negative for anything(mono is something that was more specifically looked for.) Also within the past year I've had at least two times where I have been extremely fatigued with flu-like symptoms and a fever exceeding 102*. I'm not sure if either of those facts will help anything, but I know it couldn't hurt to add it in. I'm just extremely tired of having this cough and lymph node issue.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
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replied January 27th, 2011
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Hello, and thanks for your medical question on E Health Forum. I am glad that I can help you.

From the extensive history provided, it seems that you have recovered from a severe bout of pharyngitis and could be having persisting issues due to post infectious bronchitis.

Usually once a infection subsides the residual inflammation of the airway causes persistent cough, this is called post infectious bronchitis. The main symptoms here are dry, cough in paroxysms which persist for a long variable time frame.

Up to 25% of people suffer from a post-infectious cough – that continues for 3-8 weeks after one recovers from a cold or chest infection. It is important to know that Antibiotics do not work for this condition.

Some measures that can help you include :

1. Postnasal drip, if present can be managed with a nasal spray and decongestants.
OTC antihistamines will also help here

2. Cough can be controlled with Cough suppressants, lozenges, etc.

3. In case the symptoms are very severe, your doctor can prescribe you inhaled or oral steroid drugs.

The lymph node in your arm pit is mostly due to inflammation resulting due to the pharyngeal infection or a unrelated skin infection. This will subside on its own or with antibiotics within 2-3 weeks. If it persists for more than 1-2 months, then additional tests can be done.

I hope you find the information here helpful.



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