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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 6, 2023.



is a respiratory infection. It causes your throat and upper airways to swell and narrow. It is also called laryngotracheobronchitis. Croup is more common in children, but adults can also get it.

Common symptoms include the following:

Croup begins like a cold with cough, fever, and a runny nose. Your symptoms usually remain mild during the first 2 to 4 days. After that, the following symptoms get worse at night or when you lie down:

  • A harsh or barking cough
  • Noisy or whistling breathing
  • Hoarseness

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have severe difficulty breathing.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your fingertips or the skin around your mouth turns blue.
  • You cannot swallow your spit and begin to drool.
  • You are severely fatigued (mentally and physically tired).

Call your doctor if:

  • Your symptoms do not get better or get worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


can usually be done at home. Your healthcare provider may recommend any of the following:

  • Medicines, such as acetaminophen, steroids, and NSAIDs, may help with a fever. Ask your healthcare provider which cough medicine may help with your cough.
  • Rest and keep calm as much as possible. Stress hormones can make your cough worse.
  • Sit in a steam-filled bathroom. Turn the shower on. Close the door and sit in the bathroom for about 15 to 20 minutes. Do not get into the shower.
  • Use a humidifier or vaporizer next to your bed to help decrease your cough at night.
  • Drink warm liquids. Warm liquids will soothe your throat and help with your cough.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

Prevent the spread of croup:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Carry germ-killing hand lotion or gel with you. You can use the lotion or gel to clean your hands when soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Sneeze and cough into a tissue or the bend of your arm. If you use a tissue, throw it away immediately and wash your hands.
  • Do not share cups, silverware, or dishes with others.
  • Stay home if you are sick.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright Merative 2023 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Croup

Treatment options

Symptoms and treatments

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.