Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

8 Reasons Your Cough Is Not Improving

Reason 7: Bacterial Infection

Sometimes, a cold can leave behind an unwelcome parting gift. When your airways are raw and irritated after a cold, it's easier for bacteria to invade. Bacteria can cause sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia. If you have a fever or pain along with your lingering cough, a bacterial infection could be the reason. See your doctor, as you may need to take an antibiotic.

Reason 8: Your Blood Pressure Medicine

Do you take medicine for high blood pressure? If so, that may be why your cough won't quit. About 1 out of 5 people who take ACE inhibitors develop a chronic, dry cough as a side effect. If you have this side effect, talk to your doctor. Another drug may work better for you. There are many available ACE inhibitors, including:

  • Altace (ramipril)
  • Capoten (captopril)
  • Lotensin (benazepril)
  • Prinivil, Zestril (lisinopril)
  • Vasotec (enalapril)

If the generic name of your medicine ends with "pril," there's a good chance it's an ACE inhibitor. 

If your cough isn’t getting better after a week, call your doctor. Together, you can find out what’s causing your cough and make sure you get the right treatment.

1 | 2
Reviewed on October 09, 2013

Today on WebMD

neti pot
Slideshow
Chicken soup
Slideshow
 
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
Slideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
TOOL
 
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
Slideshow
blowing nose
Video
 
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Health Check
Boy holding ear
Article
 
woman receiving vaccine shot
Article
Bacterial or Viral Infection
Video
 
How To Calm Your Cough
Quiz
Sore Throat
Slideshow
 

WebMD Special Sections