7. How long do most coughs last after a respiratory virus (like a cold)?
Coughs last much longer than people expect, but a dry cough by itself does NOT mean that you need antibiotics! Most coughs after a cold will resolve within three weeks, but a cough CAN persist up to 6 weeks. As long as your cough is slowly getting better (not keeping you from sleeping, no fevers), you are following the expected course. Taking OTC (over-the-counter) cough suppressants that contain dextromethorphan (DM) often helps.
[See “Can’t Stop Coughing?”]