Patient Comments: Pleurisy (Pleuritis) - Treatments

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How was your pleurisy treated? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Brenda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 13

I experienced recurring pleurisy for 30 years - cold, humidity and exertion (like shoveling snow or swimming in cold water) aggravated this underlying condition that followed an initial bout of pneumonia. I have not had an occurrence in 5 years now since regularly practicing 3-part yogic breathing and lap swimming to increase my lung capacity.

Comment from: Mmow, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 07

My doctor gave me a round of steroids, some muscle relaxers, pain pills and a pain shot before I left her office. Seems to be working for the pleurisy.

Comment from: Dubb, 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 18

My 17 year old son was diagnosed with pleurisy two months ago. The doctor prescribed ibuprofen 600 mg. The pain slowly subsided after about seven days. It took about three weeks before he could participate in gym class. He was out of school for about 5 to 7 days. Although the pain has subsided, it slowly came back two months later but only for a few seconds at a time every five days or so. Pleurisy is a painful monster I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, but I'm writing this post to let people know the 600 mg ibuprofen was effective. Also to give a time frame of the pain.

Comment from: Indie , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 18

I am a kidney cancer survivor. Pleurisy was diagnosed 1.5 weeks ago after I went to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack. I had severe pain in upper left shoulder, chest, and back. I was unable to draw a deep breath; just horrible. EKG, x-rays, and blood work showed no heart involvement but infection and pleurisy. Since I have only one kidney I can't take most medications so no steroids, NSAIDs, painkillers or antibiotics. I got tramadol which is about as effective as a Tic Tac. I'm now on round 2 of pleurisy.

Comment from: CM , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

My pleurisy is caused by mixed connective tissue disease. I have been taking Plaquenil twice daily. Not much side effect, good drug.

Comment from: Jbucy77, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 09

I went to the emergency room the other day with severe chest pain, middle-upper back pain and shoulder pain... it was awful! I had all the tests and chest x-rays done and everything came back normal. With my low fever and not coughing up anything, or really coughing at all, I had more like a dry cough… the doctor said it was pleurisy. Actually she didn't give me anything... nothing for the pain or to help it out or anything. In fact, she wasn't even 100 percent sure it was pleurisy but by deduction she diagnosed it.

Comment from: Yow, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I am experiencing the symptoms of pleurisy for 5 to 7 days before it is totally gone, but then it will attack again and keep on coming back at least twice a month. I don't know what to do.

Comment from: Aylee, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

I had x-ray and blood tests yesterday, they were clear but I have pleurisy. I'm in so much pain I don't know what to do with myself. I feel I can't breathe properly or get comfortable. I'm very distressed and keep panicking, thinking the worst.

Comment from: Jean, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 17

I had chest pain on right side and over right shoulder. I thought I was having a heart attack. In the morning I called my doctor. He said it was probably pleurisy and told me to go in. He prescribed an NSAID which was too strong. It made me sick to my stomach even though I took it with a meal.

Comment from: Seapoint, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 18

I recently underwent a quadruple bypass and have been slowly recovering. Five days ago I started getting a sharp pain in my right lung. It got worse and I couldn't breathe. I went immediately to my doctor who diagnosed pleurisy. He gave me a big bottle of ibuprofen 600 mg tablets. He prescribed that I take it three times a day with food. I felt an immediate cessation of pain by the end of the first day. By the second day I was able to breathe without any problem and by the third day I stopped taking Ibuprofen tablets because I was pain free and able to breathe normally. The only drawback was a stomach reaction, lots of gas and some dry heaves which stopped as soon as I ceased taking the pills. I hope that my experience will be of some help to those still looking for relief.

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Comment from: bunchaflowers, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 17

I began having chest pain and after not having slept for 2 nights went to the emergency room. After much testing, I was diagnosed with pleurisy and sent home with steroid dose pack. Five years later, same pain, and ruled out heart and lung embolus. I suggested pleurisy since it felt so much like the incident 5 years prior so he started me on a steroid dose pack and voila! Fixed me right up!

Comment from: Knutter , 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

My pleurisy is not treated yet. They have me on steroids for 10 days and told me to take Tylenol but I'm still in a lot of pain.

Comment from: Jimbo, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 12

I had a triple bypass 4 months ago and this morning I woke up with pain right under my breast and I thought I was having a heart attack. I went to the emergency room and after x-rays and CT scan I was diagnosed with minor pneumonia. But the pain is not minor. They gave me a shot of Dilaudid that helped with the pain. They sent me home with Tramadol and it is not effective for pain relief. I also have antibiotics for pleurisy. But how am I going to be able to sleep!

Comment from: CS, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

I was sitting on the backs of my legs/ankles on the floor wrapping Christmas ornaments for about 40 minutes. When I tried to stand up, I couldn't put any weight on my right leg and I couldn't bend or straighten it either. It was almost two days before I could put any weight on it.

Comment from: pain in ....., 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 16

I had the respiratory flu this winter, 2 bouts of pneumonia, and now have what is believed to be pleurisy. My doctor however cannot tell me if this is what I have. I have been to the walk-in clinic twice and my general physician once, been through a round of antibiotic, a round of steroids and now anti-inflammatory, but nothing relieves the pain. My pain has moved from the lower left lung and chest, and back to the upper left chest and back and now the center of my upper chest. I am worried it is something more, I wonder if blood test and maybe a CT scan should be done. It has been 2 1/2 weeks of very bad pain.

Comment from: diane, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I have pleurisy from lupus/rheumatoid arthritis. They gave me prednisone, it is not working and hurts when I bend down to pick something up or tie my shoes. It reaches across my whole chest and hurts, not really any pain breathing, but sharp pains in the chest off and on. I am going to the doctor to see if they will do x-ray since I have no relief. My chest burns almost like heartburn but not as bad, just want it gone.

Comment from: sara, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I have had pain under my right breast for two weeks now which radiates down my rib cage and under/in my right arm. When it started two weeks ago, I had a low grade fever which doesn't show up because my normal body temp is 97 when well. I feel very weak and don't want to do much. This is unusual in that I keep a one acre yard maintained with a push mower and help my daughter 3 days a week with her three foster babies so I am not a weakling. I have not had a lot of sleep in the past two weeks and feel nauseous and break into a sweat often. Finally I visited the doctor and he said 'I don't hear any congestion' so just have a physical (which is another month). I have previously been diagnosed with Sjogren's, arthritis, Hashimoto's, and I have a small nodule on my lung, liver and gallbladder which is due for another CT scan in 4 months. I feel like I am on my own and hopeless until the physical. In the meantime I get relief from Breathe Easy tea and lying on my stomach. I am wheat and dairy intolerant as these also bring on the pleurisy symptoms among other symptoms.

Comment from: Arnoldplace, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

I woke up with intense shoulder pain that had been creating up all week. I thought it was stress. Then I bent down to feed the cats and I couldn"t catch my breath, my left lung was piercing in pain with every breath. A trip to the emergency room (ER) via ambulance, and it was pleurisy. I was sent home with turbo Motrin that makes me want to eat a house, and I am still in pain when it wears off. It has been 5 days now and I am exhausted and tired of the pain. I am a 44 year old teacher.

Comment from: Kristy26, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 07

I was diagnosed with pleurisy last week after getting a chest X-ray from which I thought it was going to be pneumonia. I was diagnosed with bronchitis four weeks prior and was on a ten day antibiotic. I figured pneumonia would be normal for me since I have a long history of getting it around this time and I have asthma as well. I had been having a nonstop sharp shooting pain in my left lung, shoulder and chest region. They gave me a prescription for 600 mg of Motrin but that didn't ease the pain. The pain was reduced a little for a few days and I woke up today with the pain so unbearable all I could do was cry because I feel so hopeless. It's the worst pain I've ever experienced and it's every second of every day.

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Comment from: margie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

I am a 54-year-old woman in good health. Over the weekend I started having pain in the right side of my chest, shoulder, and back--especially when I breathe, cough, sneeze, bend my head, etc. I went to the ER because a nurse friend said it sounded like pleurisy. After a six-hour wait in the ER, they told me they couldn't find any reason for my pain and sent me home with pain medication. An X-ray and blood work came back fine. Six days later, I'm still in severe pain. Any ideas? I don't know what to do to feel better.

Comment from: thishurts66, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: February 09

For the past 3 weeks I have had a severe cough and last week I got a fever and couldn't get out of bed and to make a long story short, now that I am feeling better I still have a cough and on my left side up high I have been having severe pain for the last 6 days and it has never gone away. It's a very sharp stabbing pain when I move in any direction and it hurts to lay down in any position any way I went to the doctor the other day and he said he thinks it's the "lining around my lung is inflamed." I thought it was a broken rib and I still kind of think it is, the doctor gave me Percocet and it's not even touching the pain.

Comment from: Swoopz86, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

I am 25 year old female and I, too have pleurisy. It was painful first in my back. I thought maybe I slept wrong...nope...pain got worse and then became to the front of my chest. I thought maybe i was having a heart attack! I felt scared and hopeless. I had to squeeze my left breast to ease the pain. I cried so hard because it was the fear of the unknown. The ER doctor sent me home with 800mg Motrin and Percocet . They gave me morphine and children's Tylenol and Percocet's while in the er after having a ct scan, chest X-ray, blood work, etc. I've had pain since but not as intense. It feels good to know I'm not alone.

Comment from: mom2Ty, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: March 01

My 15 year old son was diagnosed today at the emergency room with Pleurisy. The doctor gave him a steroid and a mild pain killer. I have not read of anyone else being treated for this disease (I use the term loosely but have noticed that some websites refer to this as a disease) through using a steroid and I am concerned. I plan on calling our primary care physician in the morning but was wondering if anyone else was given a steroid and if so, did it work for you? My son is an overall healthy child, rarely sick and very active in sports.

Comment from: VINEET, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 09

If anyone suffering is from pleurisy than I suggest stop smoking at once. And a deep breath can work instantly. As I know doctor may be unable to diagnose it. No medicine works on it. I suffered with it. By chance I got a sneeze and pain went immediately.

Comment from: ms.dontlikepain, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 06

I awoke to chest pains like a heart attack, I overlooked it because I thought it was a heart attack and scared, it took me a week to go to the emergency room, but I finally did this morning at 5AM. There I was given a CT, blood work and given a steroid and Vicodin; and yes the pain is excruciating. This is my first experience with this and I really don't want it, it's a lot like bronchitis and it hurts not to be able to breathe.

Comment from: Missy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

Got stung by some kind of bee or wasp om the back of my neck 7 days ago don't think I got the stinger out I have had some swelling and redness and severe pain in the neck and some. Burning. A lot of stiffness. Doctor gave me some antibiotics for a bacterial infection not helping.

Comment from: Glorybeeze, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 24

I spent five hours in the ER yesterday with severe pain in my left upper chest with a chronic cough and back pain. I also had an EKG, chest X-ray, oxygen, and two different sets of blood work. They decided it was the beginning stages of pleurisy. In the past, I had sarcoidosis in 1991, and pneumonia in 2009 and in 2010. This is some of the worst pain I've had. All they sent me home with was oxycodone.

Comment from: lisa, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 07

I was also diagnosed with pleurisy last week, I went to my doctor after having a pain in my upper left back and flu/fever symptoms over the weekend, when my doctor checked me out he advised I go to the hospital for a chest X-ray and blood tests of which I did. When I got to hospital I had the X-ray and was admitted to AAU for my bloods and further tests of which came back as pleurisy and a chest infection but was allowed home later that night with Clarithromycin and pain killers as the pain in my back was so bad, never experienced pain like it. I'm glad to say the 5 days later although I still have pain in my back. I feel so much better and my chest is now loosening so the medication is working, the hospital did say it could take 5 to 6 weeks to clear up.

Comment from: keelie2013, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 31

I was told I have pleurisy but my symptoms are nowhere as severe as those who have posted on here. I feel really well, short of breath only a bit, and it's just a dull ache, not a stabbing pain. But this has been happening on and off for almost 3 years. I have been told that if it's viral and since I have never had a fever that it must be there is really no treatment except Advil or Aleve. It hurts when I breath deep, sneeze, cough, yawn or belch. I'm just tired of it and of course there is all the talk about underlying conditions like cancer. I mean you can't stump your toe these days without it being cancer. Sorry, frustration is getting me down.

Comment from: Lauren, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I was diagnosed with pleurisy a while ago, on Saturday I went into accident and emergency described my pain and what was happening. The doctor sent me home and said I just pulled a muscle. I couldn't sleep all night, I couldn't even breathe or lay down or it would feel like my chest is closing up and I can't breathe, I posted something on Facebook at 12.30am and 1 am I got a phone call it was a good friend who is a registered nurse. At 3 am I was admitted with query UTI and a pulled muscle. The next afternoon they sent me for an X-ray and the morning after they diagnosed me with pleurisy they started me on antibiotics. Worst pain imaginable.

Comment from: 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 11

I am now suffering from my third attach of pleurisy in less than two years. I am a 28-year-old female in good health but I can't seem to shake this pleurisy. It seems to occur every six months or so. I get stabbing pains and severe burning in my lungs, which is felt in my chest, back, and throat. Along with shortness of breath, it almost feels as if there is a weight on my chest. My doctor always gives me a nebulizer treatment and sends me home with 800 mg ibuprofen and an inhaler. This time she also prescribed me Medrol (a steroid). It also makes me incredibly exhausted and lightheaded.

Comment from: Elizarose34, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 15

I'm 34, female and typically pretty healthy. I came down with the flu on early this year and after two weeks of fever and sleep finally started to feel better but still had a cough, another week went by and I was finally feeling better except I noticed a very tender spot on my left chest under the breast. Over the course of the week the pain/tenderness spread across my side and down my ribcage. I could swear I had broken ribs because it was so tender to touch and hurt to move, breathe, cough etc. Went to the doctor today because OTC pain meds weren't working and the pain seemed to be spreading. Aleve seemed to help better than Tylenol or ibuprofen. The doctor said it was pleurisy and gave me a steroid shot and prescription for prednisone. No pain meds yet because he wanted to see if the steroid would help the pain first. I wouldn't describe my pain as sharp but more like a very sore muscle.

Comment from: Birkshire, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 19

For the past two months I have been unwell and had severe pain on the left side of my chest. It was always more severe when I moved or took a deep breath. I also have a slight cough, I've also had terrible nausea for this period of time. A month ago I ended up in the emergency department and was kept in overnight. I was told it was Pleurisy and given antibiotics and morphine for the pain. The following week it still hadn't cleared up and so I went back to the local doctor with my papers from the hospital saying it was Pleurisy and the doctor had the cheek to say that perhaps I may have pulled a muscle. I was finally given a double dose of antibiotics, before these started to work I had terrible pain on the bottom of my right lung -- the pain was horrible. I finally felt fantastic for the first time in two months and thought it was finally over. Now a week later I'm feeling sick with no appetite, pain in my chest, exhausted and just generally unwell. When will it end? So for all the other sufferers who I have just read their stories, good luck, and I hope you all feel better soon, because it is very debilitating.

Comment from: annie123, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I am 17 years old, in grade 12. I don't smoke, drink, have any medical problems or am taking any medications. I have a healthy body weight, and to put simply, I am overall a healthy young girl. The first time I had symptoms, the pain lasted around 10-15 minutes then subsequently decreased after taking Tums. I thought it was really severe heart burn, though I have never had heart burn and thought it was odd that it was that painful. Turns out, it just "happened" to start to go away after I took the Tums. The next time this occurred, I woke up at 4 am with the severe stabbing pain again in the middle of my chest. I tried the Tums again- no help. I didn't think I was having a heart attack but the pain was enough to go to the ER. I arrived with no health card, luckily in Canada you can get all medical care fast (and free). If you are under 18 even without your health card. I rated the pain a 10 (worst in my life) and they proceeded to ask me questions while I was hunched over in pain. They eventually listened to my heart/ lungs, conducted an EKG, and ruled out some possibilities and told me it was a Pleural Effusion (Pleurisy.) They gave me 600mg of Ibuprofen, but by this point the pain began to decrease on its own. They said it was probably from some sort of infection and it should go away on its own. If it happens again, I will bring my health card or go to my family doctor for a better analysis.

Comment from: tonyalynn2008, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

I am 30 years old and in good health. I, too, was just told that I have pleurisy. I had a stabbing chest pain that made it difficult to breathe. I am glad I came across this blog because I was worried. I had always thought pleurisy was only related to heart conditions. The ER doctor said that it is just inflammation in the chest, and he, like many of you, sent me home with ibuprofen and vicodin. This is the first experience I have had. I hope that is nothing more. All of you guys have put my mind at ease. Thanks.

Comment from: Billie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 21

I had noticed that I had shortness of breath for a couple of days prior to going to the ER with horrible pain in my right breast and upper arm with slight swelling, at the ER they did the usual test, Chest X-Ray, EKG, blood work etc. The ER Doctor said that they found no problems with the entire test and to follow up with local Doctor when I returned to my home town, I was given 2 meds- Ketoprofen and Hydrocodone, as of today I still do not have relief this has been 6 days.

Comment from: Krista Gagean, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I am a 29 year old female. I have been sick lately but was feeling better yesterday until the latter part of the day. I started getting this deep sharp pain in my chest that seemed to get worse when I take a deep breath or if I do anything to make my heart beat faster. I went to the ER at 2 this morning after being woken up from the horrible pain. After 2 hours a chest x-ray, blood tests and an EKG I was told it is Pleurisy. I was given Vicoden and a prescription for 600MG ibuprophin and told to continue my antibiotics. It's a little more tolerable now but from what I have been reading it looks like the battle is far from over.

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