Pneumonia Treatment

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Doctor's View on Pneumonia Treatment

Comment by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

Antibiotics are usually used to treat pneumonia when it is caused by bacteria. Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics in a pill or liquid form that you can take at home, or, in more serious cases, you may be admitted to the hospital and be given intravenous, or "IV" antibiotics.

If you have pneumonia, you should  begin to feel better within 3 to 5 days after starting antibiotic treatment; however it is important to take the full course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor, even if you feel better before it is finished. Pneumonia symptoms may last weeks to months.

What about children and the elderly?

Children with pneumonia are also treated with antibiotics. Treatment depends on your child's age, the severity of the pneumonia, and if it is caused by bacteria or a virus. Elderly patients may require longer treatment and may take longer to recover from pneumonia. Make sure elderly family members take all prescribed medications.

Other medications and home remedies

You may be given other medications to ease your symptoms of pneumonia such as steroids (pills or injections), oxygen, breathing treatments, or inhalers. At home: use a humidifier, drink plenty of liquids (no alcohol), and get plenty of rest rest.

Some types of pneumonia are caused by viruses, and antibiotics will not help with viral pneumonia. One type of rare pneumonia, varicella pneumonia, can be treated with antiviral medicine.

Pneumonia Treatment Resources

Read patient comments on Pneumonia - Treatment

Doctor written main article on Pneumonia Facts

REFERENCE:

UpToDate. Community acquired pneumonia in adults - the basics.


Last Editorial Review: 7/12/2013 6:24:48 PM