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Antibiotics For Pneumonia And Bronchitis

Additional Recommendations For Pneumococcal Pneumonia

Bronchitis & Pneumonia (Summary) â Respiratory Medicine | Lecturio

Choose one or both of the following.


A commercial garlic product should provide a daily dose equal to at least 4000 mg of fresh garlic, which translates to at least 10 mg alliin or a total allicin potential of 4000 mcg .

Hydrastis canadensis

Given berberines broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity and immune-enhancing effects, berberine-containing plants are an important consideration. The dosage should be based on berberine content. Because of the wide range of quality in goldenseal preparations, standardized extracts are recommended. The following dosages are intended to be given three times daily:

  • Dried root or as an infusion : 2 to 4 g
  • Tincture : 6 to 12 mL
  • Fluid extract : 2 to 4 mL
  • Solid extract : 250 to 500 mg

How To Feel Better

Below are some ways you can feel better while your body fights off acute bronchitis:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer.
  • Use saline nasal spray or drops to relieve a stuffy nose.
  • For young children, use a rubber suction bulb to clear mucus.
  • Breathe in steam from a bowl of hot water or shower.
  • Suck on lozenges. Do not give lozenges to children younger than 4 years of age.
  • Use honey to relieve cough for adults and children at least 1 year of age or older.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about over-the-counter medicines that can help you feel better. Always use over-the-counter medicines as directed. Remember, over-the-counter medicines may provide temporary relief of symptoms, but they will not cure your illness.

    Get Vaccinated If You Qualify

    Pneumococcus is the most common cause of pneumonia in adults and children more than 5 years old, and it can often be prevented with vaccination. While the vaccines are not recommended for healthy people between the ages of 18 and 64, they may decrease the risk that bronchitis will turn into pneumonia, at least pneumococcal pneumonia, for a number of people.

    The pneumonia vaccine is indicated for:

    • Children
    • People 65 years and older
    • People who have recently had surgery or a serious illness
    • People with lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma
    • People who smoke or drink heavily
    • People who may be immunocompromised
    • People who have had organ transplants

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    How Is Walking Pneumonia Different From Regular Pneumonia

    Walking pneumonia differs from typical pneumonia in several ways, including:

    • Walking pneumonia is a milder form of pneumonia.
    • Walking pneumonia usually does not require bed rest or hospitalization.
    • Walking pneumonia is usually caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Typical pneumonia is most commonly caused by _Streptococcus _pneumonia or influenza virus or rhinovirus.

    How Doctors May Treat Bronchitis That Turns Into Pneumonia

    Antibiotics For Pneumonia And Bronchitis

    Treatment of pneumonia that has developed after bronchitis can vary depending on factors like age, severity of symptoms, and medical history. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may recommend hospitalization, says Holguin.

    If youre not experiencing breathing difficulties or other serious symptoms and your pneumonia is determined to be bacterial, you may be prescribed an oral antibiotic.

    Your doctor may also test you for other infections, such as the flu, and depending on your symptoms and test results, recommend an antiviral medication, says Holguin.

    If your doctor determines that your pneumonia can be treated at home, they may suggest the following:

    • Drinking plenty of fluids, which can help loosen phlegm and clear it out of your body
    • Getting lots of rest
    • Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen for fever or chest pain

    If hospitalized for pneumonia, you may be given these treatments:

    • Oxygen therapy and other breathing treatments
    • Fluids
    • Antimicrobial agents

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    How Bronchitis And Pneumonia Are Treated

    Treatments for both bronchitis and pneumonia depend on the underlying cause, such as whether its bacterial or viral.

    Bacterial pneumonia and acute bronchitis are both treated with antibiotics. For viral cases, your doctor may prescribe an antiviral drug. However, theyll likely suggest you get a few days of rest and drink plenty of fluids while you recover.

    If you have chronic bronchitis, your doctor may prescribe a breathing treatment or steroid drug that you inhale into your lungs. The medicine helps to reduce inflammation and clear mucus from your lungs.

    For more severe cases, your doctor might also prescribe supplemental oxygen to help you breathe. Its also important to avoid smoking or exposure to the substance that caused your bronchitis.

    Regardless of the cause, follow these tips to speed up your healing time:

    • Get plenty of rest.
    • Drink plenty of fluids to loosen up the mucus in your lungs. Water, clear juices, or broths are the best choices. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can be dehydrating.
    • Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to reduce a fever and soothe body aches.
    • Turn on a humidifier to loosen up the mucus in your lungs.
    • Ask your doctor about using an over-the-counter cough remedy if your cough is keeping you up at night or making it hard to sleep.

    How Do You Diagnose Pneumonia

    • Symptoms – a doctor will suspect pneumonia from asking about your symptoms and how you are feeling. They may also ask about your medical history and that of your family. They will be interested in whether you smoke, how much and for how long. The examination may include checking your temperature. Sometimes your doctor will check how much oxygen is circulating around your body. This is done with a small device that sits on the end of your finger. The doctor will listen to your chest, so they may want you to lift or take off your top. If you want a chaperone during the examination, the doctor will arrange one. If you have asthma, they may ask you to check your peak flow measurement. They will listen to your chest with a stethoscope. Tapping your chest over the infected lung is also sometimes performed. This is called percussion. An area of infected lung may sound dull.
    • X-ray – a chest X-ray may be required to confirm the diagnosis and to see how serious the infection is.
    • Other tests – these tests are usually carried out if you need to be admitted to hospital. They include sending a sample of phlegm for analysis and blood cultures to check if the infection has spread to your blood.

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    What Is Walking Pneumonia

    Walking pneumonia is a mild form of pneumonia . This non-medical term has become a popular description because you may feel well enough to be walking around, carrying out your daily tasks and not even realize you have pneumonia.

    Most of the time, walking pneumonia is caused by an atypical bacteria called Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which can live and grow in the nose, throat, windpipe and lungs . It can be treated with antibiotics.

    Scientists call walking pneumonia caused by mycoplasma atypical because of the unique features of the bacteria itself. Several factors that make it atypical include:

    • Milder symptoms
    • Natural resistance to medicines that would normally treat bacterial infections
    • Often mistaken for a virus because they lack the typical cell structure of other bacteria

    What Are The Symptoms Of Pneumonia

    Can antibiotics cure bronchitis?

    Cough is a common symptom. You may also feel generally unwell and have a high temperature . Other symptoms you may notice include:

    • Loss of appetite

    All these symptoms are also seen in flu so it is sometimes difficult to diagnose pneumonia in the early stages. See the separate leaflet called Influenza and Flu-like Illness for further details.

    Coughing up a lot of phlegm is more likely to happen in pneumonia than in flu. The phlegm may become yellow-coloured or green-coloured. It may be streaked with blood or you may cough up more significant amounts of blood.

    You may become short of breath, start breathing faster than normal and develop a tight chest. A sharp pain in the side of the chest may develop if the infection involves the pleura. The pleura is the membrane between the lung and the chest wall. A doctor may hear crackles when listening to your chest with a stethoscope.

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    Causes And Symptoms Of Bronchitis

    Causes of bronchitis vary greatly, but the disease is mostly caused by bacteria, chemicals, fungi and viruses .

    Antibiotics should be used, when damage to the bronchial mucosa is caused due to the bacteria penetration into the bronchial tissue. Early treatment will prevent severe forms of respiratory infections of the respiratory tract and cure the disease quickly.

    Bronchitis has various symptoms, which are similar to the symptoms of other diseases . Nevertheless, many people had bronchitis at least once in their life, so the symptoms are well known and easily recognizable.

    Usually, the first symptoms of bronchitis are:

    • Headache.

    When the infectious bronchitis progresses, the sick person is experiencing the following symptoms:

    • First dry and then productive cough.
    • Strong cough in conjunction with chest pain.
    • Whooping cough with phlegm and pus.
    • Fatigue and weakness in the body.
    • Discomfort in the chest.
    • Constantly high body temperature.
    • Wheezing and difficult breathing.

    Different antibiotics may be used to get rid of these symptoms and cure bronchitis rapidly. The peculiarities of the antimicrobial agents use in bronchitis will be discussed later in this review. For now, we provide the information on with the general rules of these drugs use:

    Usually, the patient has several symptoms of bronchitis. One of the antibacterial agents should be chosen depending on the intensity and the severity of the symptoms, age and general health condition.

    • Amoxicillin.
    • Cephalexin.

    Bronchitis Vs Pneumonia: What Are The Differences And Similarities

    Acute bronchitis is a condition in which the lining of your bronchial tubes become inflamed. This condition usually develops as a result of a viral infection like a cold or the flu, and it typically gets better in about one to two weeks.

    Pneumonia is an infection in one or both of the lungs that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi. When you have pneumonia, the air sacs of the lungs fill up with fluid or pus. While anyone can get pneumonia, some people such as children, the elderly, people with asthma, and individuals with chronic disease are at an increased risk of developing this lung condition.

    Both bronchitis and pneumonia involve inflammation in the chest . And both conditions share some common symptoms:

    • Cough
    • Fatigue
    • Confusion
    • Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting

    While symptoms for either bronchitis or pneumonia can range from being mild to serious enough to require hospitalization, symptoms such as fever, breathing problems, and chest pain tend to be more severe with pneumonia.

    In people with pneumonia, the alveoli fill with pus and other fluids and prevent oxygen from reaching the bloodstream when theres too little oxygen in the blood, the body cannot function properly, increasing the risk of death.

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    Overall Completeness And Applicability Of Evidence

    In general, the available evidence suggests we should not be using antibiotics to treat acute bronchitis or lower respiratory tract infections when pneumonia is not expected. There is a modest benefit from antibiotics for some outcomes, but these are of minimal clinical significance. Any benefit is even less apparent in the sensitivity analysis, which included data from subgroups of patients with productive cough of short duration in conjunction with the common cold. Of the two trials in the primary analysis that limited enrolment to people who had been ill for less than one week, one did not show any benefit from antibiotics , whilst the other showed modest benefit from antibiotics .

    When To See Your Doctor

    Bronchitis Treatment Guidelines

    See your doctor if you:

    • have a cough on most days, or you have a cough that often returns
    • are coughing up blood
    • have a high fever or shaking chills
    • have a low-grade fever for 3 or more days
    • are coughing up thick, greenish mucus, especially if it has a bad smell
    • feel short of breath or have chest pain
    • also have a chronic illness, like heart or lung disease.

    Call Healthline if you are unsure what you should do.

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    How Can Walking Pneumonia Be Prevented

    Unfortunately, no vaccines are available to prevent walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Even if you have recovered from walking pneumonia, you will not become immune, so it is possible to become infected again in the future.

    Tips for preventing walking pneumonia include:

    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough. If a tissue isnt available, sneeze or cough into the inside of your elbow or sleeve. Never sneeze or cough into your hands. Place used tissues into a waste basket.
    • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
    • Wear a mask around sick people if you have respiratory conditions or other chronic health conditions that would make getting pneumonia even riskier for you.
    • Get your annual Influenza shot. Bacterial pneumonia can develop after a case of the flu.
    • Ask your doctor about the pneumococcal vaccine. Two types of vaccines are available, Prevnar 13® and Pneumovax 23®. Each vaccine is recommended for people at different age points or who are at increased risk for pneumococcal disease, including pneumonia.

    Bottle Blowing And Salt Pipes

    A Swedish study was carried out with 145 adults hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia. These patients were divided into three groups. Group A was given early mobilization with no breathing-associated exercises, group B was instructed to sit up and take 20 deep breaths 10 times daily, and group C was instructed to sit up and blow bubbles in a bottle containing 10 mL water through a plastic tube 20 times on 10 occasions daily. In this study, length of hospitalization was significantly modified in groups B and C: group A patients were hospitalized for a mean of 5.3 days, group B for 4.6 days, and group C for only 3.9 days. The number of days with fever was lowest in the bottle-blowing group. It should be noted that early mobilization itself is known to significantly decrease hospital stays in pneumonia patients. Despite the positive clinical results, C-reactive protein levels, peak expiratory flow, and vital capacity were not significantly affected.

    An alternative to bubble blowing is the use of a salt pipe. These pipes are inhaler-type devices containing tiny salt particles said to ease breathing. The practice originated in central Europe, where individuals with respiratory complaints would spend time in salt caves or mines to help relieve their breathing problems.

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    How Can You Prevent Pneumonia

    If you have bronchitis, the best way to prevent pneumonia is to treat the condition early. Recognizing the symptoms of bronchitis can help you get treatment sooner. Early symptoms of bronchitis are similar to those of a cold or the flu. They may include:

    • runny nose
    • fever of 100°F to 100.4°F
    • feeling tired
    • back and muscle aches

    Youll then develop a dry cough which will become productive after a few days. A productive cough is one that produces mucus. The mucus may be yellow or green.

    Bacterial bronchitis more commonly leads to pneumonia than viral bronchitis. Thats because the bacteria multiply and spread.

    In some cases, its still possible to contract pneumonia even if youre taking antibiotics to treat bronchitis. This is because antibiotics are very specifically selected for the bacteria theyre targeting. If youre taking antibiotics for one type of bacteria, its still possible for pneumonia to be caused by another type.

    Your doctor will only prescribe antibiotics if you have bacterial bronchitis. Antibiotics cant treat viral bronchitis or any other virus.

    Its possible for anyone to develop pneumonia following bronchitis, but certain groups of people are at greater risk. These groups typically have weakened immune systems. You may be at an increased risk for pneumonia following bronchitis if you:

    • are under the age of 2 or over the age of 65
    • have had a stroke

    When To See A Doctor

    Quick Medical Tip: You don’t need antibiotics for bronchitis!

    If you have been sick with what seems like a cold or the flu without improvement for 5-7 days, check in with your doctor.

    This could be a sign that you have pneumonia or have developed a secondary infection.

    If you have a compromised immune system, are over age 65, or have other medical problems, call your doctor sooner.

    Children who have symptoms of pneumonia should be seen by their pediatrician right away, since they may not display common signs of pneumonia, even if they are very ill.

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    Quality Of The Evidence

    Since there is no gold standard test, the diagnosis of acute bronchitis must be made on clinical grounds. All of the trials excluded people with chronic pulmonary disease and enrolled participants with recent onset of a respiratory illness with a productive cough. The results of the studies in the primary analysis that included participants with a productive cough, without specifically stating that the participants had acute bronchitis, were similar to the studies that used this specific terminology, as one showed some benefits from antibiotics , and one did not . Clinical characteristics of participants regarding the duration of illness and associated symptoms and physical findings did vary somewhat among studies, but were consistent with definitions generally used by primary care physicians . These results would therefore appear to be generalisable to the management of acute bronchitis in community practices.

    Differences Between Bronchitis And Pneumonia

    The common symptoms of these two diseases cough, fever, fatigue and an aching chest are very similar. Bronchitis can even progress to pneumonia in some cases.

    But these are two very different diseases affecting different parts of the lungs, says Dr. Tolle. Pneumonia symptoms also are usually much more serious and, in some cases, potentially life-threatening.

    The bottom line? If you have symptoms that match either bronchitis and pneumonia and they dont improve within a week, or if the symptoms keep worsening, contact your healthcare provider.

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