Whooping cough


  • Also known as
  • Pertussis

Whooping cough is an infectious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable coughing. The name comes from the noise you make when you take a breath after you cough. You may have choking spells or may cough so hard that you vomit.

Anyone can get whooping cough, but it is more common in infants and children. It's especially dangerous for infants. The coughing spells can be so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe.

To make a diagnosis, your doctor may do a physical exam, blood tests, chest x-rays, or nose or throat cultures.

Before there was a vaccine, whooping cough was one of the most common childhood diseases and a major cause of childhood deaths in the U.S. Now most cases are prevented by vaccines. If you have whooping cough, treatment with antibiotics may help if given early.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Top Medications for Whooping cough

Button Group. All currently active
  • All men

  • Brand (generic)% of users who said medication was worth it
  • All women

  • Brand (generic)% of users who said medication was worth it
Get the most out of your antidepressant ›

All Medications for Whooping cough

  • Antibiotic > Macrolide

    • Erythromycin
      Prescription only

      Ery-Tab (Erythromycin) works well to treat a variety of bacterial infections, but check for drug interactions before taking it.

      No survey info available

      • Pill
      • delayed release tablet
      • Extended release
    • Azithromycin
      Prescription only

      Zithromax (Azithromycin) is good for treating many bacterial infections. It is also available as generic. Talk to your doctor if you've ever had liver disease, myasthenia gravis, or on medications to thin the blood, as the doctor may write an alternative.

      Is it worth it?

      Women 75%

      Men 73%

      • Pill
      • Liquid
      • Eye drops
  • Antibiotic > Sulfonamide

    • Bactrim
      (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim)
      Prescription only

      Bactrim (Sulfamethoxazole / Trimethoprim) is good for treating many bacterial infections and is available as a generic. However, you can be more likely to sunburn. Also, it can cause birth defects, so talk to your doctor if you're pregnant.

      Is it worth it?

      Women 62%

      Men 56%

Medication side effects

We’re still collecting side effect information for Whooping cough medications, so we can’t show you a comparison right now.

Help us out by writing a review of your meds.

Tips, success stories, and coping strategies for Whooping cough

  • Tips from our users

  • Coping strategies from our users

  • What worked from our users