Are there any medications that have been used by anyone to reduce the phlegm problem? My dad had to be re-trached (sp?) after an infection because he is very weak and unable to cough anything up. The phlegm seems to be worse than ever and I was wondering if anyone ever used meds to reduce this. The constant suctioning leaves his trach very raw at times.
Someone one this forum recommend Robitussin DM.
I bought it and dumped the recommend dose down my PEG.
Also I slept in a recliner to keep my head elevated and frequently gargled with a glass of warm water + a half teaspoon of baking soda and half teaspoon of salt
Thanks Don, did the Robitussin seem to help at all?
My nurse practitioner prescribed Glycopyrrolate to reduce secretions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycopyrrolate
It works and works pretty fast! Drastically reduces the amounts of slime that come out the trach. I use 1/2 of the little pills for about six hours. If I am going out to movie, etc., I take one just before so I'm not constantly mopping my trach tube.
This stuff works good, but has some side effects that may cause other issues. It significantly makes xerostomia worse. To the extreme. I tried it since I produce mucus in amounts that you can't even imagine, and that stuff is cause sleep apnea issues. But this stuff made my mouth dryer than a pop corn fart.
Since my last surgery, my problem has been too much fluid, not too little. Even so, I only take it when I need it and only take a half-tablet at a time, otherwise my throat and trachea dry out too fast.
Pete, do you still have your trach in? My dad got sick in February and they had to put the trach in again. He keeps getting infections in the nursing home/rehab he is in, so we want to bring him home, with some help of course. They are trying to talk us out of it b/c they say to care for someone at home with the trach is too difficult. We really want to get him home. We are afraid if he stays in the nursing home it will kill him. He's gotten MRSA, C-Diff, VRE, and something else that I can't remember the name. He is also afraid to swish his mouth now that he has the trach because he thinks he is going to choke. Meanwhile, this leaves his mouth so terribly dry that I'm afraid he is going to develop a mouth infection soon
Because the radiation surgery scarring apparently have closed off the wrong pipes, my trach is a permanent part of me. With a very few minor exceptions, no air moves in or out except through that stoma.
It's surprising what one can't do without pressurizing the mouth, like speak, whistle, spit, etc.
I would think he'd be able to rinse his mouth without swallowing (and risking aspiration). Another way to clean the inside of the mouth is with those little green sponges on a stick. They can be moistened. In fact, with my trismus that's about the only way I can clean my mouth of the thick mucous that builds up.
If he is unable to heavily participate in trach clearing and cleaning, then he will need someone there to help at all times. It's not rocket science, but is potentially fatal.
Rhett - My husband is in his last week of radiation - in week 2 the mucus started getting bad and his doctor prescribed caphosol. It's a liquid that comes in 2 vials and he mixes them together and swished it around his mouth and gargles. The mucus has been nominal since he started using this. I have the drug fact sheet scanned as well as pics of the medicine. I'll email you the info. Not sure if this is the right stuff if someone has a trach but worth a look into.
Good Morning Rhett:
I was also prescribed glycolprrate by my RO. When the mucous becomes unbarable I give myself an injection that provides relief for approx 4-5 hours. Needless to say for about 3 weeks I took alot of injections. I'm now 6 weeks post treatment and still dealing with the mucous issue, but am only taking an injection once every few days