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HomeAnswersOtolaryngology (E.N.T)cocaineCan my cough with phlegm and itching in the throat due to cancer as I was using cocaine?

Does cough and phlegm with itchiness in throat in a cocaine user mean cancer?

The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At February 17, 2019
Reviewed AtJuly 25, 2023

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

I used cocaine for six months but for four months, I have coughs and phlegm especially in the morning. I never had throat pain. It just feels itchy. I saw a doctor who gave me allergy spray with Cortizon but I took it for just one month. I keep drinking alcohol and cold drinks which makes me feel irritated in my throat again. Only used cocaine twice in last two months 0.04 oz each. I will stop completely as am almost there on my withdrawal. I saw another doctor, she did all TSD tests and it was all clean. I got a bacterial infection in the throat so, I do salt and hot water gargling. The symptoms are less than before but I am still worried about my coughing. I am afraid of cancer as I had taken chemotherapy two years ago for histiocytosis X. Any suggestions, please.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

The picture (attachment removed to protect patient identity) that you have attached shows slightly enlarged tonsils with granular pharyngitis. There is nothing to worry. Your symptoms are due to chronic irritation of your throat which could be due to rhinosinusitis or reflux or recurrent tonsillar infection. Chronic throat irritation is a cause of a chronic cough.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

If I still used allergy pills and nasal for a few weeks with a saltwater gargle, it should be fine? Or do I need antibiotics?


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

You do not need antibiotics. Take antireflux medications and antihistamines, that is, anti-allergy medications. You can also use warm saline or Chlorhexidine gargles.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Syed Peerzada Tehmid Ul Haque
Dr. Syed Peerzada Tehmid Ul Haque

Otolaryngology (E.N.T)

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