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Bronchitis Treatment Overview

Find the right care and learn about different treatments.
Reviewed by Buoy's medical team
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Care Plan


First steps to consider

  • Mild to moderate viral bronchitis can often be treated at home.
  • You can try at-home strategies and OTC cough medicines or lozenges.
See home treatments

When you may need a provider

  • You have a fever (above 100.4 F), your cough is hard to control, or you’re coughing up a lot of thick mucus or blood. You may have bacterial bronchitis, which needs antibiotics.
  • You are wheezing.
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Emergency Care

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Call 911 or go to the ER if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Serious breathing problems or wheezing
  • Racing heart
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting

The suppliers listed follow Buoy’s clinical guidelines, but listing the suppliers does not constitute a referral or recommendation by Buoy. When you click on the link and/or engage with these services Buoy will be compensated.

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All treatments for bronchitis
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Read more about bronchitis care options

When to see a healthcare provider

You should see a doctor for bronchitis if you have a fever (above 100.4 F), your cough is hard to control, or you’re coughing up a lot of thick mucus or blood. Any of these may be a sign of bacterial bronchitis and you will need to take antibiotics to treat it. Your symptoms should start to improve within 1–3 days of being on antibiotics.

If wheezing is an issue, call a doctor, who may want to prescribe an inhaler. Sometimes the cough is so bad that a prescription cough suppressant may be needed. Your doctor may also want to test you for COVID.

What medicine is best for bronchitis?

  • If your doctor thinks you have bronchitis caused by a bacterial infection, they will prescribe an antibiotic like azithromycin (Z-pack).
  • Wheezing can be treated with a prescription inhaler (albuterol).
  • You may also be prescribed an oral steroid like prednisone to reduce inflammation.
  • If your cough is not controlled by OTC cough medicines, your doctor may give you a prescription cough medicine, such as benzonatate (Tessalon) or dextromethorphan.

Types of bronchitis providers

  • A primary care provider can treat your bronchitis.
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Frequently asked questions