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Aster's avatar

If Benedryl stops a ten week cough does that mean it's not cancer?

Asked by Aster (15706 points ) August 10th, 2011

Say an adult has been coughing fairly hard for ten weeks day and night (no blood) and tries Benedryl. The coughing almost stops. Does that mean cancer wasn’t the reason for the cough?

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24 Answers

FutureMemory's avatar

I’m not a medical professional, but I have never heard of cancer being the root cause of a persistent cough.

tom_g's avatar

Don’t seek this type of medical advice from fluther or anyplace on the web. Go see a doctor right now.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Is this a question about you @Aster, or for a friend?

No matter what, persistent coughs are best seen by a doctor. Further, I wouldn’t associate an antihistamine with stopping a cough.

Aster's avatar

@SpatzieLover BENADRYL ORAL USES
Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine used to relieve symptoms of allergy, hay fever and the common cold. These symptoms include rash, itching, watery eyes, itchy eyes/nose/throat, cough, runny nose and sneezing.”

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Aster It’s never worked on a cough for me. It has taken the running out of my nose, though.

If someone was coughing for 10 days, what made them finally take a Benadryl? Allergies? A bee sting?

Aster's avatar

@FutureMemory “A persistent cough doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be worried about lung cancer. There are many possible causes of a persistent cough, only one of which is lung cancer.”

Donald_Trump's avatar

Just because it stopped your persistent cough doesn’t mean you don’t have cancer. Have you seen a specialist?

Aster's avatar

@SpatzieLover Not ten days; ten weeks. The person took a Benedryl for a rash and stopped coughing and the rash went away.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@FutureMemory the presenting complaint of lung cancer is often a persistent cough.

@Aster If the cough responds to benedryl it’s most likely to be an allergy however if the peson hadn’t been in conatct with any obvious allergens then it would still be worth having the cough checked out by the doc.

john65pennington's avatar

Back in the 70s, I rode a police motorcycle for my department for 7 years. My sinuses were really in bad shape from infection. I finally agreed to surgery on my sinuses. My doctor opened the windows of my sinus cavities on both sides of my nose. The object was to let my sinuses drain out the front of my nose. But, as luck would have it, the drainage did the reverse and drained down the back of my throat, causing me to cough, especially at night and bedtime, when I laid down. Twice a year this happens and I rely on two medications for relief. Benedryl and codeine cough syrup. My faily doctor is familiar with my problem.

The point here is this: if Benedryl is helping to stop your cough, you may have the same problem I have with my sinuses. Are you a smoker?

Ten weeks is way too long to be coughing and not have medical attention.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Ten weeks? He/she needs a doctor. Period.

Aster's avatar

@Donald_Trump it isn’t me but even if it were I would not admit it on fluther. If you do that, fifty people come on and say “see your doctor” and you don’t get an answer you were seeking. Just hide and watch..

Aster's avatar

@john65pennington ten weeks. Not days.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Aster I read the “ten week day and nights” not as ten weeks. It’s an honest reading mistake. Anyway, someone coughing that much should be checked out.

A cough is a symptom of something. Whether the cough is from an allergy, or cancer, that is better determined with blood tests from a doctor.

Aster's avatar

@Lightlyseared thank you. What would be some allergens that could cause a ten week cough?

Mariah's avatar

If benedryl stopped the coughing it seems the cough is probably due to an allergy, which benedryl treats, and not cancer, which benedryl doesn’t treat. But a cough going on for that long is still concerning and it wouldn’t hurt to get tested by a doctor. Better safe than sorry.

Cruiser's avatar

I’d see an allergist if you are concerned. I have had weird stuff like this crop up….persist what seemed like forever and then POOF…gone. Perhaps think of what might have changed for this person going back the 10 weeks ago till now. Any significant stressors, dietary or environmental changes??

Aster's avatar

Its not me, Cruiser and there was something very complicated that occurred at the beginning I just don’t want to go into. thank you, Cruise. The cough is just about gone. It’s very strange.

jonsblond's avatar

The allergens could be mold, pollen or pets. My daughter had a persistent cough related to allergies and it took us a long time to find the right medicine for her that helped. It also took a trip to the doctor to find the right treatment.

Aster's avatar

If the cough is airborne allergies caused and benedryl stops the cough how long can you safely take benedryl?

jonsblond's avatar

@Aster I’m not sure about Benedryl, but my daughter’s doctor has had her take Zyrtec every day for the past several months. She was taking Claritin only when she would develop her cough, but it didn’t seem to be working. We found a new doctor and this doctor told us that allergy medicines like this usually don’t take effect until after several weeks or a month of use. This is when she prescribed Zyrtec for my daughter and she has been cough free for 5 months now (after 2 years of on and off again coughing fits). (I really hope your friend gets to a doctor, especially if they develop the cough again.)

Aster's avatar

Zyrtec must be wonderful if she can take it for months without side effects! Thanks for posting!

Donald_Trump's avatar

@Aster I see what you mean! ;)

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