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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Pleurisy

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An indi vidual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

[posted 02/3/2000]
Question: MY 16 year old son has been diagnosed with pleurisy for the second time,
this time the pain seems worse and it seems to be taking longer to get over.
we've tried motrin, aleve, heating pads, and chest wraps and nothing seems to work,
his doctor has had a chest-xray done and it returned negative. is there anything more
a parent can do to relieve this pain. my son is asthmatic, but it seems to be under
control at this time. is the there anything else a doctor or parent can do to help
ease the pain and recover quickly? will he continue to have this problem? and is there
anything one can do to prevent pleurisy from reoccuring?

Answer: The first question is what is causing the pleurisy. There are several causes and the most common for a young adult would be viral pleurisy. However, there are several other causes including lupus and all of the autoimmune diseases. I would ensure that he has had a sedimentation rate. If it is high, then it is possible that an underlying medical condition is the cause. If not, then probably viral. A Pulmonary specialist would be a good option.

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