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Mucolytics yes or no?

Question
Dear expert team,
I have mucus in the upper airways that bubbles however cannot be coughed up well, are CF patients allowed to take mucolytics and if yes, which ones can be recommended?
Many thanks
Answer
Hello,
you write, that you have mucus in the upper airways, that bubbles however cannot be coughed up well and you ask, if mucolytics can be used.
Under the upper airways one normally understands only the nose-throat area. As you report about bubbling mucus, I assume, that the mucus is nevertheless in the great bronchi.
If the mucus would be only in the nose, e.g. nasal sprays with NaCl would be indicated.
For a short period of time one can also use sprays, that detumesce the mucosa, e.g. OtrivenĀ® nasal spray or similar preparations.
In case it deals with mucus in the great bronchi, an inhalative therapy with high concentrated NaCl solutions should be performed (3-7%). Additionally oral "mucolytics" could be used (N-acetylcystein or ambroxol). The effectiveness of such oral drugs however, cannot be proven with security.
Best regards,
Dr. H.-G. Posselt
21.01.2015