Pneumonia - Treatment

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What is the treatment for pneumonia?

Antibiotic medications are the treatment of choice for pneumonia caused by bacterial and fungal infections. The exact choice of medications depends on many factors, including the following:

  • The organism responsible for the infection
  • The likelihood that the organism is resistant to certain antibiotics
  • The patient's underlying health condition

About 80% of cases of CAP can be managed at home with the patient taking oral antibiotics. There are numerous treatment regimens available. Initial treatment (before the causative organism has been identified) is called empiric treatment and is based upon the organisms most likely to be responsible for the illness. Once the exact organism has been identified in the laboratory and susceptibility testing performed to determine which antibiotics are effective, the treatment regimen can be further individualized. In around 20% of cases, CAP must be managed in the hospital, typically with intravenous antibiotics initially. HAP is managed in the hospital, typically with intravenous antibiotics.

Antibiotics are not effective against viral pneumonia. Depending upon the type of virus that causes pneumonia, antiviral medications can provide benefit when started early in the course of the disease. For example, the medications oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are used to treat influenza virus infections. Antifungal agents are used to treat most fungal pneumonias.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Audrey, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 05

I've had pneumonia for the last three years in a row. Usually I'm run down and busy and do not get proper rest, and it hits me fast. I'm extremely tired. This year I used a nebulizer and did at-home breathing treatments, which helped a lot. I also took a high-dosage antibiotic and prednisone. So I was hitting it from all directions. The duration has been less this year, but three weeks later, I'm still coughing a lot. I plan to get the pneumonia shot as soon as I'm well.

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Comment from: NeverGetSickLiar, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 23

I started with hoarseness 12/25/14 and increased to body aches and fever as high as 101.5. Tuesday 12/30 I was diagnosed with pneumococcal pneumonia. I was prescribed 2 antibiotics and inhaler. The cough continues with chest pain that is being attributed to inflammation of the tissues surrounding the lung. Currently I am taking yet another antibiotic and promethazine syrup for cough and congestion in my ears and nasal passages (which I was not even aware of). Warning: 1 teaspoon knocked me out from 9:45 pm with fog clearing from my head by around noon the following day but I slept like a drunken sailor. Pay close attention to the warnings on the label! Additional x-ray results to be available on 1/22/15. Very long recovery and I am normally very healthy.

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