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Acute Bronchitis


It is a self-limited inflammation of the bronchi due to upper airway infection. Acute bronchitis is one of the most common conditions associated with antibiotic misuse.

This respiratory condition is generally caused by a virus. Pertussis is the only indication for antibacterial agents in the treatment of acute bronchitis.  It is also known as a chest cold, is short-term inflammation of the bronchi (large and medium-sized airways) of the lungs.


Diagnostic Criteria

Patients with acute bronchitis present with a cough lasting more than five days (typically one to three weeks), which may be associated with sputum production. 

Acute bronchitis should be distinguished from chronic bronchitis (see below), it is not a form of COPD.

Symptomatic Treatment 

  • With non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: paracetamol, aspirin

  • Cough suppressant syrups

  • There is NO benefit from antibiotic use


Chronic Bronchitis


It defined by a chronic productive cough for three months in each of two successive years in a patient in whom other causes of chronic cough have been excluded. Patients may get secondary bacterial infection with development of fever and production of thick smelly sputum. 

Non-Pharmacological Treatment

  • Stop smoking and/or remove from hazardous environment

  • Prompt treatment of infective exacerbations

  • Antibiotics as above in case of secondary bacterial infection

  • Controlled oxygen therapy

  • Physiotherapy

  • Bronchodilator may give some benefit 

Pharmacological Treatment

  • Inhaler Salbutamol (PO) 100 µg two puff 6 hourly    


  • Salbutamol (PO) 4mg 8 hourly    


  • Ipratropium bromide aerosol 20–80mg, 6–8 hourly Trial of steroids if there is possibility of reversible airways obstructions A: Prednisolone (PO) 20mg once daily for 5 days 


Note : Patient should be given salbutamol inhaler but when not available consider salbutamol tablets. 

Updated on, 2.11.2020


1. STG 

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