Pleurisy and Chest Infection Clarithromycin

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I really hope someone can give me some advice. Before Christmas I came down with a cold which turned into a chest infection. I didnt go to a GP as usually these things clear up. However by Christmas Eve I was starting to feel pretty bad and called the doctor but they were closed so I didn't go. Went on the 27th and was diagonosed with a chest infection and given Amoxicillin. I finished taking these but still felt bad and started to develop a pain under my right breast, almost like a pulled muscle or bruising of the ribs... I asked a doctor and he checked my pulse to rule out a pulmonary embolism???? and said you have pulled a muscle from coughing.... With that I left and carried on taking Ibuprofen which helped ease the pain. The Monday I had a strange incident where my heart was beating really fast and irregular and I felt sweaty, dizzy and couldnt stop shaking. I went home from work and thought about going to the doctors. Plus the pain in my right side was getting worse. I went back to the gp who said I was probably suffering with Pleuritic pain from the infection and he described me more antibiotics.. Amoxiclav...

I still felt bad and he asked me to go back the following Friday to check my blood pressure as it was slightly high.

Finished the Amoxiclav and suddenly felt bad again... nothing I have ever expereienced. Chest Pain, really bad cough, weak sweaty, extremely sense of smell, taste etc... so tired.

I went back again to the gp and broke down in tears as now the middle of January and things seem to be getting worse. He took blood and sent me to the hospital for a chest xray and the blood test he states shows an infection but no blood clot on the lung. The chest xray has also returned clear??? I rarely go the the doctors but he almost made me feel like a hyperchondriac...

He prescribed me more antibiotics but this time Clarithromycin 500mg twice per day.

I was hoping these would have kicked in by now but still feeling terrible and am taking these alongdside extra strength Ibuprofen and paracetamol for the pain in my chest.

I am starting to wonder if I will ever get better. I feel so low and down, I havent left the house for days and just want to sleep as I am feeling so exhausted.

Has anyone suffered from anything similar or know how long it takes to get over this... Its been over a month now and I just cant remember what it feels like to feel normal...

Sorry for the long post...

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  • Posted


    First of all in you had two lots of ab's and they did not really work then is it worth having another lot normally if you are on ab,s they would kick in by about the 3-4th day also i would be wary as to why if you chest was clear why is he also presrcribing more for you

    not sure if this will be any help or not....but for the last two weeks i have not been feeling well, the first week i had all the symptoms of starting a cold, then on Sunday last i started a cough.

    For the first few days i had an excruciating throat then green catarrh and then started cough quite badly often ending in an urge, it also made me feel nauseous.

    then on Thursday i started having pain in my jaw, chest and into my back, i thought it was indigestion so would have a mint and a glass of water but realized that this was not curing it, in the evening had some painkillers it took the edge of it, then on Friday it was there most of the day and then slowly got worse to the point i thought that i had or was having a heart or angina attack.

    In desperation i rang my husband who was no where near home and so i then rang the doctors and they fit me in at the end of surgery,.....

    the result was that she checked me over temp, bp (that is another story) then listened to my chest, i was not wheezy then she poke and prodded my back and asked me if it hurt and i said very much so she then told me that i had got costochonditus and did not need ab's as i have no infection but just to take regular painkillers, so

    so could this be what you have got from all the coughing and other symptoms,.

    maybe there are others who can comment on it,.

    hope this helps neutral

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  • Posted

    Thank you for your advice.. That could be a possibility but I don't have pain in

    my back but do around the right hand side of my rib cage, almost underneath my right breast.

    I'm really not liking these tablets either. They leave a terrible taste in my mouth and are making me feel quite unwell. Also this evening, I have noticed my cheat feeling raspy again and the glands in my neck have enlarged! I wish there was something I could do to feel myself again.

    Hope you get better soon! Sounds horrendous but not too dissimilar to the pain I experienced!!

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    • Posted

      Hi, I am exactly in the same place that you were. three weeks into the illness and still have cough, wheezing chest pain in the ribs, and not feeling well. can you tell me what you did after writing this letter on this website? did doctor give you more antibiothics? did they change you antibiotics from clarithromycin? I have been on first Amoxi for 10 days which didn't work and then 10days on clarithromycin which although I fee a bit better but really not working well. So what did doctor did for you? Did you also took steriods? did you have fever too? how you got better? please let me know as I am feeling really ill.

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    • Posted

      Usually with bronchitis or chest infection if it's not pneumonia you are prescribed azithromycin/zithromax over 5 days, steroids pack over 5-7 days, Albuterol nebulizer breathing treatments every 4 hours or similar and a inhaler for morning and night treatment. This is after a Rocephin and steroid shot in office. This usually takes care of any type URI or bronchitis.

      The nebulizer is key to recovery from any respiratory infection

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  • Posted

    You feeling any better?

    I had a strange cold which turned into chest infection on the lower part of the left lung. Was prescribed amoxycillin and an inhaler as I was wheezing too (something I have never done or suffered from). Doc said if I didnt feel any better to go back, was at the nurse 2 days later for a routine check and asked how long I should wait before going back as the Doc thought I might also need a course of steroids. She gave me steroid prescription there and then. Finished all medication on Monday past but was back yesterday as still wheezing and breathless, lower part of lung still crackly. Now on clarithromycin and another 5 days (40mg at once per day) of steroid - prednisolone. Today I feel quite a bit more "me". Still wheezing and a bit breathless but not nearly as bad. I'm back for a checkup next Thursday, so fingers crossed. January has been a poop month so far. Take care.

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  • Posted

    hello are you any better. I still have loads of catarrh and am still coughing and the pain has come back at myu back and by the shoulder blades. also had a nose bleed today

    hope you have got to the bottom of your problem

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  • Posted


    My first post on this site. I've been in a very similar situation for 2 weeks now. I've been to docs and gave me amoxicillin but my chest pains are getting worse !!

    How are you getting on now ??

    Any advice on what can help me..... I'm a 36 yr old male 6ft 1inch and feel like crying !!

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  • Posted

    Sad to say that I have exactly the same thing. Started in October as a heavy cough and went from there. Had Amoxi and claritho. Now on a steroid pump. Chest has really started hurting at base of trapezius. Was hoping this was persistent coughing but not sure now. Have had some solid mucus in cast form - checkout "plastic bronchitis". Off to the states on Monday and worried I will take a turn for the worst whilst on my trip( business).

    Feel like I am getting on top of the cough and mucus. Have had white frothy, green and pink catarh , as well as the solid casts. Had this once before for 2-3 months. Was during my divorce and hence stress related ( consistent with some papers on plastic bronchitis). Two days left of the steroids. Has ruined Xmas party season, Xmas , new year etc through persistent hacking and hence lack of sleep and total exhaustion. Every spare minute I'm not at work , I collapse on the sofa or in bed . I am diabetic hence suppressed immune system really doesn't help. Symptoms are noticeably worse when my sugars are high.

    Nightmare. Slightly comforted to know others have the same thing as thought I was on my way!!

    Will follow this thread . Can anyone who is further along with this give us poor souls some light at the end of the tunnel please?

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  • Posted


    I hope you are starting to feel a bit better now. I experienced the same thing several years ago and had 6. courses of antibiotics before my chest infection and sinus infection finally cleared up.

    Like you I developed pain in my right side under my rib cage and in my shoulder blade which felt a bit like a. pulled muscle, which my doctor advised me is pleurisy where the lining of the pleura becomes inflamed and rubs every time you breathe. It made me feel exhausted and very low, I struggled to breathe doing simple


    As long as any cause or infection is treated then the only real treatment is painkillers and rest.

    I am currently suffering with pleurisy again only this time I have not had any infection, the doctor thinks it was caused by a virus as I have a weakness in my chest.

    I have had it now for 3 weeks and still feel pretty exhausted after getting washed and dressed in the morning, like you I haven't really been out for days.

    The best advise I have is just rest as much as possible and keep up the painkillers. Movement really seems. to make me worse so although it is frustrating I am doing a lot of sitting around.

    Try and stay positive, it will pass eventually.

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  • Posted

    Hi Caroline. Thanks for your response. The chest is now clear thanks. I do have chronic backache and rib ache still though. Your explanation seems to feel right. The only thing I can liken it too is a partially slipped disc but I haven't done anything to warrant that!

    I guess it will pass as you say. I have a ten hour flight Monday, so at least I get to sit still for a while! Take care mark.

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  • Posted


    I hadn't realised I had so many replies to this post until today!!

    I am much better now and thankfully have had no reoccurance of that episode last year!!

    It turned out eventually that I had pneumonia which caused pleurisy and it was around 3 months before I felt back to normal health.

    My father has just been admitted to hospital with fatal IPF (ideopathic pulmonary fibrosis) hardening of the lungs. He used to be a heavy smoker but gave up 20 years ago!! There is nothing they can do for him other than try to help his symptoms via warm oxygen and IV steriods. This doesn't appear to be helping as yet but the prognosis doesn't look too good and he's only 64!!

    I'm not sure if anyone knows anything or anyone that has this disease but would appreciate any advice!!

    Thanks again for your advice

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    • Posted

      Hi giuila,

      I know that most of these posts are over a year old or at best 9 months.  This is my first post and hope it wont be my last.  About 1 month ago, I developed a sore throat which would not go away, and my voice ended up quite croakey.  Then I started to feel really unwell and decided to visit the GP.  Symptoms included loss of appetite because of the awful taste in my mouth, from gunge ( brownish in colour) that I tried to cough up.  The GP listened to my chest and said I had crackles on the base of my right lung.  She prescribed amoxycillin. This did not seem to work and I was still coughing up brown gunge.  She then prescribed me Clarithromycin.  After suffering from a dry foul taste in my mouth for a week, I went back (last week) and was feeling much better, and thought that would be the end of the problem.  However, she said she co9uld still hear some crackles and wanted me to go for a check CXR (Chest X Ray). Thursday.  Feeling much better, decided to go for a drive with my wife to the local garden centre - able to eat now, but low energy levels.  Yesterday, after continuing to improve over Sunday and Monday (Flu Jab received),  Tuesday and Wednesday, nausea and diarrhoea,  Thursday,  had what is known as a full blown  rigor (cold, hot and then lashing with sweat.  Awake all night with the shakes.  Appointment today Thursday with GP.  Worried about my weight loss (I've no appetite, cughing up disgusting foul tasting mucus.  Then she dropped the bomb shell that I really did not want to hear,  "I want you to see a specialist chest consultant to rule out anything sinister" -  yes, you have it in one - CANCER!!  As I write this to you I have checked various sites about lung cancer and see many of the symptoms that I am presenting with.  I do not know when I have felt so scared and alone.  It is so good to hear that you are pon the mend now, and long may it continue.  I am now back on the Clarithromycin.  I hope this is the last.   I am extremely tired, depressed and cannot hide this from my wife.   Sorry for the long reply.  I am yours,  John M

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  • Posted

    What lead me to this site today was an attempt to find some information and relief from this terrible virus which apart from the fever which has now lowered, shows no signs of improvement whatsoever.

    The pain in the back & lungs became so severe that at one point i was coughing up blood and my fever rose to 103.

    The phlegm almost choked me and sleep became impossible. The noise and wheezing from my chest is so loud and no amount of coughing can clear it. I feel like I am being smothered. The doctor gave me a five day course of A/B. They didnt touch it at all. I'm now on my second course. Clarithromycin. but even those have had little effect. My skin also feels sunburnt and I am totally and utterly exhausted now. Today, even raising my head or arms became an effort. Absolutely every joint hurts. The cough is crippling me and I dont even have the strength to get from one room to another.

    Personally, I believe this is either a superbug, or a form of viral pneumonia. Over the years I have colds and flu, but absolutely nothing like this has ever had such a debilitating effect and I;'m a 6'3 male. This is absolutely horrendous.

    I would be interested to know if anyone has any thoughts as to where they may have contracted this. I believe I caught it after a visit to my local hospital. Before then, I never had any sign of anything like this, but nothing I do or take seems to improve it.

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    • Posted

      Hey Xantal, 

      I know its almost a year since you've posted this but i really hope you can respond, and potentially help save a life. I'm a 6'3 skinny male,  and ive had all and way more of the symptoms youve described above, and i am absolutely certain that i am a host. I have contracted this extremely contagious virus somehow, and i have been isolated from my doctors. I live in Canada, and im trying to figure this out but the covered healthcare is taking way too long. I can say that ive never seen anything like this before, and im hoping that somehow i can eventually figure this out. Everyone im around gets sick, and this has driven me to the darkest places i have ever been. I have pushed for a contagious diease reference but they wont refer me because they think im crazy. Honestly, my life has been runied in a matter of two years and counting. I just turned 19 and i fear im looking at my end days. 

      I hope that you could potentially respond, and help me on my quest to shine light on this horrible virus.I can absolutely 100% guarentee that this is a viral virus, and can be spread by breathing the same air. Honest to god, this up there with Ebola. I have about a 20pg document that i have written myself trying to get to the bottom of this. 

      Please help, im extremely deseperate. 


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