Treatment of whooping cough at home in adults

General characteristics of whooping cough

The causative agent of pertussis infection is bordаtella pertussis or the Bordet-Gengou bacterium. It dies when exposed to high temperatures, ultraviolet rays and disinfectants. The source of infection is a person in the final stage of the incubation period. The disease is transmitted from the carrier only by airborne droplets . In this case, contact must be at a distance of at least 2 meters.

An infected person or carrier, when sneezing, talking, coughing, sprays droplets of saliva containing the bacterium. Next, the pathogen enters the mucous membrane of the larynx of a healthy person, which penetrates deeper and deeper with each breath. The toxin produced by the bacterium affects the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract. The result is irritation of bronchial receptors.

With uncomplicated whooping cough, changes in the internal organs are minimal. This is explained by the fact that pathogenic bacteria multiply only in the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract. Microbial agents do not enter the blood, but the situation can worsen dramatically if a secondary bacterial infection occurs. Pathogenic factors of whooping cough provoke allergic reactions, which leads to a long, painful cough.

Symptoms of whooping cough in adults

The latent period of infection lasts from 3 to 14 days. There are 3 stages of whooping cough:

  1. Catarrhal. Coughing, runny nose, sneezing appear - all signs of a cold. Body temperature may rise slightly.
  2. Paroxysmal. There are attacks of spasmodic cough with the appearance of mucous discharge. At the same time, the face becomes purple, and a characteristic whistling sound appears in the lungs.
  3. Convalescent. The cough ceases to be spasmodic, and overall health improves. A period of recovery begins.

Based on the stages of the disease, whooping cough in adults is characterized by general symptoms of infection . These include:

  • paroxysmal cough;
  • lacrimation, sneezing;
  • sore and sore throat;
  • nasal congestion;
  • sleep disturbance;
  • decreased performance.


Complications of whooping cough in adults are associated with inflammation of the respiratory system. The bacterium disrupts the functioning of the villous epithelium, leaving the respiratory tract unprotected. Opportunistic microflora is attached, primarily staphylococcus. The consequences of respiratory tract damage can be:

  • acute laryngotracheitis;
  • pneumonia;
  • bronchiectasis;
  • emphysema.

In severe cases, other organs are involved in the inflammatory process. Complications of whooping cough can be:

  • otitis - inflammation of the middle ear;
  • mediastinitis - inflammation of the serous septum in the chest cavity (mediastinum);
  • pleurisy - inflammation of the serous membrane of the lungs.

And also the consequences of whooping cough can be:

  • encephalopathy;
  • heart failure;
  • cerebral hemorrhage.

With encephalopathy, disorders occur in the brain. Convulsions similar to epileptic seizures develop.

Whooping cough during pregnancy

A mild form of whooping cough during pregnancy is not dangerous. In moderate and severe cases of the disease, frequent attacks can cause spontaneous abortion or premature birth.

The infection can affect the baby's intrauterine development. The greatest danger is infection with whooping cough for up to 8 weeks, when the rudiments of the main organs are formed. If a pregnant woman has been in contact with a whooping cough patient, she needs to see a doctor and get tested. Treating the infection at an early stage is most effective. If a pregnant woman has suffered whooping cough, maternal immunity does not last long in the newborn - from 4 to 6 weeks.

Diagnosis of whooping cough

The symptoms of an infectious cough in the first stage are similar to a cold or flu, which makes it difficult to diagnose whooping cough. Even experienced doctors recognize the disease only at the 2nd stage of its development. In order to exclude pneumonia and tuberculosis, a chest x-ray is prescribed. An increase in the level of leukocytes and lymphocytes in a blood test does not confirm the development of whooping cough, it only proves the presence of infection in the body.

Effective ways to determine the cause of a spasmodic cough are a nasal swab and sputum culture. The latter includes a laboratory test in which the patient coughs onto a special plate coated with a nutrient medium. It is placed in a thermostat and after a certain time the appearance of a colony of pertussis bacteria is observed, which confirms the primary diagnosis.

Treatment of whooping cough in adults

Treatment of infectious cough without complications can be carried out on an outpatient basis in accordance with the regimen determined by the doctor. Treatment of whooping cough requires an integrated approach, including medications, folk remedies and adherence to general rules . The latter include:

  • isolation of the patient from others;
  • daily wet cleaning and ventilation of the room with an infected person;
  • eliminating factors that provoke a painful cough (smoking, exhaust fumes, wind).

Drug therapy

Treatment of an upper respiratory tract infection involves the use of antibiotics. The effective period for drug treatment is the first 14 days. After 3 weeks, it is not advisable to use antibiotics for whooping cough, because the bacteria die on their own, and the cough continues from the action of the toxin produced by bordetella. Whooping cough in adults in mild form is treated with the drugs Ampicillin, Flemoxin, Tetracycline. Taking macrolides is effective:

  • Azithromycin;
  • Erythromycin;
  • Clarithromycin.

Moderate and severe forms of the disease require additional treatment. Antibiotics for whooping cough in adults are supplemented with cephalosporin drugs - Ceftriaxone, Zinnat. To relieve laryngeal edema, hormonal drugs of the corticosteroid group are prescribed - Prednisolone, Kenacort. Antitussive drugs - Ascoril - help relieve cough. Complex treatment of whooping cough involves the use of expectorants and sputum thinners - Ambroxol, Bromhexine.

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Many doctors supplement antibiotics for whooping cough in adults with homeopathic medicines. They do not affect the Bordet-Gengou bacterium, but help relieve symptoms and reduce the duration of the disease. Homeopathic remedies for whooping cough include:

  • Pulsatilla.
  • Aconite.
  • Belladonna.
  • Sulfur.
  • Sundew.

Folk remedies

The use of traditional medicine in the treatment of whooping cough promotes a speedy recovery . The most famous remedy is sunflower seeds. Seeds in the amount of 3 tbsp. spoons must be washed and dried in the oven. Then grind finely. Mix 300 ml of water with a tablespoon of honey and pour this over the seed powder. Boil the resulting mixture until the volume is reduced by half. Next, cool and strain the broth, take 5-6 times, several sips at a time.

There are many recipes for treating infectious cough. These include:

  1. 2 tbsp. spoons of chopped garlic should be poured with 100 g of melted butter. Rub the cooled mixture on your feet. Then you need to put warm socks on your feet.
  2. Fir and camphor oils must be mixed 1:1 with vinegar. Wet a cotton napkin in the resulting solution, make a compress in the area of ​​the patient’s bronchi, and wrap him in a warm blanket.
  3. 100 ml of vegetable oil must be mixed with 5 chopped garlic cloves. The mixture should be boiled for 5-7 minutes, cooled and taken every 3 hours, a teaspoon for 3 days.

Whooping cough during pregnancy

This unpleasant disease also affects pregnant women. The development of whooping cough symptoms occurs gradually, increasing by 2-3 weeks. The infection can cause pathologies of fetal development:

  • cardiovascular diseases;
  • hearing impairment, congenital deafness;
  • developmental abnormalities of the genitourinary and digestive systems;
  • visual impairment (cataracts);
  • damage to the skeletal system;
  • hemorrhagic syndrome;
  • disruption of the central nervous system.

In the early stages of pregnancy, especially the first 8 weeks, whooping cough is most dangerous. The risk of abnormalities in the unborn child is almost 100%. This can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. In such situations, doctors recommend terminating the pregnancy. As the period increases, the risk of possible pathologies decreases. If a woman expecting a child has been in contact with someone who has whooping cough, it is necessary to conduct ongoing examinations to monitor the condition.

Treatment of whooping cough in pregnant women is carried out with the use of gentle antibiotics (Sumamed), antitussive herbal remedies (Mukaltin) and traditional methods of therapy that are acceptable in this situation. A baby born from an infected mother should undergo a course of treatment with Azithromycin at the age of 1 month. This antibiotic has the least list of side effects.

The use of folk remedies in pregnant women is also possible. Homemade recipes for whooping cough:

  1. 1 g mummy should be dissolved in 5 tbsp. spoons of warm water. Should be taken once a day 20 minutes before meals for 10 days.
  2. Half a kilogram of chopped onions must be mixed with 500 g of honey and pour 400 g of water. Boil over low heat for about 2 hours. Then cool, take several times a day, 5 teaspoons at a time.
  3. Mix 3 teaspoons of pine buds with 2 teaspoons of plantain and coltsfoot. Pour 600 g of boiling water over the mixture and leave for an hour. Take 3 teaspoons three times a day.

Whooping cough during pregnancy

Treatment of expectant mothers is complicated, so it is better to undergo preventive vaccination in advance (even when planning your “interesting situation”). If this is not done in a timely manner, whooping cough in pregnant women is fraught with extremely unpleasant consequences for the mother and child. If the infection occurs at the beginning of the first trimester, the woman is advised to have an abortion. However, this does not mean that in later stages of pregnancy whooping cough occurs without fatal consequences for intrauterine development. For example, doctors do not rule out the following pathologies:

  • Congenital heart defect;
  • damage to the central nervous system;
  • congenital deafness;
  • cataract;
  • hemorrhagic syndrome.

During pregnancy, it is also recommended to take tests, after which the doctor prescribes expectorants and sputum thinners for treatment, but does not exclude the use of antibiotics. You can give preference to homeopathy, but in this case you need to make sure that there is no allergy to the active components of the chosen medicine. Moreover, the patient is quarantined, since the infection can be transmitted not only to the fetus, but also to everyone around her, especially with symptoms of weak immunity.

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Complications after whooping cough in adults

If treatment is not treated in a timely manner after an infection, negative health consequences arise . These include:

  • brain pathologies – seizures, loss of consciousness;
  • bronchitis, pneumonia as a secondary infection;
  • hemorrhage, umbilical hernia due to severe cough;
  • heart and pulmonary failure due to constant breathing problems;
  • death due to weakened immunity and severe development of the disease.

Complications can be avoided if whooping cough in adults is diagnosed in time and the necessary treatment is started. It is important to prevent the disease from reaching the terminal stage. To do this, you need to contact a specialist at the first signs of illness and strictly follow the doctor’s instructions.

Diagnosis of whooping cough

Differentiating the disease is problematic, since whooping cough and parawhooping cough have a similar clinical picture. Collecting data is not enough to make a correct diagnosis, although the symptom complex contains specific signs of the disease in the form of intensity and sound of cough. Diagnosis of whooping cough in adults involves the following laboratory tests:

  • taking a blood test to identify the characteristics of pathogenic flora;
  • examination of sputum under a microscope (bacteriological examination);
  • implementation of serological techniques;
  • hematological and molecular studies;
  • ELISA analysis.

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Because whooping cough is transmitted through airborne droplets, contact with infected people should be avoided. Compliance with this simple rule is complicated by the fact that during the incubation period the disease manifests itself as a common cold; the patient himself may not be aware of the presence of a source of inflammation in the body. According to statistics, upon contact, the risk of possible infection with whooping cough is 96%.

The most reasonable and effective prevention of the disease in adults is vaccination . Starting from childhood, it is necessary to administer anti-pertussis serum three times. It is part of the DTP - a complex vaccination against whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus. The adult population is immunized. It consists of administering immunoglobulin, which contains antibodies to the disease.

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