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Drink warm fluids, and moisturize the air with a vaporizer or a steamy shower to help thin mucus. Drugs containing guaifenesin (Mucinex, Robitussin, others) can reduce phlegm.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a doctor immediately if:

  • Breathing is difficult
  • Phlegm is mainly blood

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a doctor if:

  • Greenish-yellow or gray phlegm
  • Phlegm is pink-tinged or contains blood
  • Wheezing or cough
  • Fever above 100 F (38 C)
  • Help quitting smoking needed

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