Monday, April 15, 2024

Are There Antibiotics For Bronchitis

Acute Bronchitis: When Should A Patient Receive Antibiotics

How long does it take to get over Bronchitis with antibiotics? – Dr. Sanjay Gupta

Bob, you were up all night coughing . . . and you kept me up, too. Will you please go to the doctor and get some antibiotics.

How many times have you heard this?

Odds are, you have, and while there are some very good reasons to be seen for a cough we need to discuss the most likely diagnosis and, more important, the unlikelihood that antibiotics are going to be needed.

Cough is the most common reason people visit their primary care doctor. In an Urgent Care setting, this is no different. More often than not, the diagnosis is acute bronchitis and more often than not, patients believe that they really, really need an antibiotic. They usually dont.

Bronchitis, or a chest cold, is an infection and inflammation of your bronchial tubes, the passageways that bring air into your lungs. Go ahead and feel your breastbone or sternum. Underneath that bone are your bronchial tubes. There is a main one in the center and two that branch off into each of your two lungs. When you get a cold, these tubes become infected and irritated. That causes mucous production and the persistent, annoying cough that keeps you and your spouse up.

And that stinks! No one wants to cough all the way through a meeting, getting branded the office Typhoid Mary. Persistent coughing sometimes hurts, its gross and may keep you from doing sports or other activities that you enjoy. You want to feel better and now. Sounds like an antibiotic is in order . . . Whoops, wait a minute, Bob.

How Do You Treat Bronchitis Without Antibiotics

You can help relieve the symptoms of acute bronchitis by taking over-the counter medications or using home remedies. Try following some of these suggestions:

  • Drink plenty of fluids Drinking hot or cold fluids will help relieve your cough and keep you hydrated which may improve your recovery time.
  • Get lots of rest Your body needs to fight the virus off, so getting plenty of rest is essential to helping you get better.
  • Take over-the counter medicines Try taking a pain reliever such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen to help with body aches and pains.

Antibiotics For Bronchitis In Children

For the treatment of such a disease as bronchitis in children , drugs that improve the drainage of the bronchi are mandatory. A variety of mucolytic agents : ambroxol, licorice root, althea, etc. Recently inhalations have been very popular with the help of a special inhalation device – a nebulizer that can be used at home.

Antibiotics for bronchitis in children are often prescribed together with antiallergic and immunomodulating drugs. Its effectiveness and safety for children was proved by the phytoantibiotic Umkalor, which includes bacteriostatic properties. This drug is well suited for the final cure of the disease, after using more powerful antibiotics, since the drug has good immunostimulating properties. Umcalor is recommended to take at least a week after the disappearance of the main symptoms of the disease for prevention.

It is mandatory to take funds aimed at maintaining and restoring the intestinal microflora in order to prevent the development of dysbacteriosis and weakening of the body’s defenses. If treatment is started in a timely manner and an effective course of treatment is chosen, recovery occurs in 2 to 3 weeks.

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Bronchitis In Dogs Explained

In dogs, the bronchial tubes carry air into and out of the lungs. The inflammation of these tubes is known as bronchitis, and the condition can be labeled as either acute or chronic. In cases of acute bronchitis, the condition is typically brought on by a viral or bacterial infection, lasts a few weeks and then dissipates after treatment. Chronic bronchitis, however, is more like a predisposition to developing bronchitis. Chronic conditions are those that recur over the lifetime of the dog. Dogs that repetitively suffer from bronchitis or those that cannot get rid of the illness within a few weeks are typically considered chronic sufferers of bronchitis.

Beware Of Cough Medicines

Home Remedies for Bronchitis, Natural Treatment

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has recommended that over-the-counter cough medicines should not be given to children under the age of 6.

Children aged 6 to 12 should only use them on the advice of a doctor or pharmacist.

As an alternative to an over-the-counter cough medicine, try making your own mixture of honey and lemon, which can help soothe a sore throat and ease your cough.

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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Acute Bronchitis

ROSS H. ALBERT, MD, PhD, Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Connecticut

Am Fam Physician. 2010 Dec 1 82:1345-1350.

Patient information: See related handout on treatment of bronchitis, written by the author of this article.

Cough is the most common symptom for which patients present to their primary care physicians, and acute bronchitis is the most common diagnosis in these patients.1 However, studies show that most patients with acute bronchitis are treated with inappropriate or ineffective therapies.2 Although some physicians cite patient expectations and time constraints for using these therapies, recent warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the dangers of certain commonly used agents underscore the importance of using only evidence-based, effective therapies for bronchitis.


Antibiotics should not be used routinely for the treatment of acute bronchitis

Clinical recommendation

The following therapies may be considered to manage bronchitis-related symptoms:

Antitussives in patients six years and older

Beta-agonist inhalers in patients with wheezing

The following medicines should not be used to manage bronchitis-related symptoms:


Beta-agonist inhalers in patients without wheezing

Antitussives in children younger than six years


Antibiotics should not be used routinely for the treatment of acute bronchitis

Antibiotics For Cough From Other Causes

While its not likely that youll be prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis, it is possible that youll need antibiotics for an incessant cough caused by another bacteria.

An infection called whooping cough is caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis and can cause a lingering cough. Luckily, its prevented in most cases by the pertussis vaccine, which has reduced whooping cough infections drastically.

If you havent been vaccinated against whooping cough , its possible a cough could be caused by the pertussis bacteria.

The symptoms of pertussis are very similar to those of bronchitis. They include initial cold-like symptoms, including:

  • A sniffly, runny nose
  • A mild, occasional cough
  • Unusual pauses in breathing

In pertussis, especially in those who havent been vaccinated, these symptoms worsen and develop into unusual coughing fits with an accompanying high-pitched whoop sound. This usually happens one to two weeks after the initial infection.

These coughing fits can cause exhaustion and vomiting, and can last a long timeup to 10 weeks or more.

Pertussis infections are treated with antibiotics, and early treatment is essential to ease symptoms and prevent the spread of the disease.

Also, try to stay away from others, especially those too young to be vaccinated. Whooping cough is extremely dangerous to infants.

Antibiotics commonly prescribed to treat pertussis include:

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Causes And Risk Factors For Bronchitis

Bronchitis is usually caused by a virus such as ones that cause the common cold or the flu, but occasionally in fewer than 10 percent of cases it can be caused by a bacterial infection. You may also be at a higher risk of developing bronchitis if you are exposed to lung irritants such as smoke, dust, fumes, or air pollution, notes the American Lung Association.

If the viral and bacterial infections that cause colds and the flu can sometimes cause bronchitis, you may be asking: “Can I stop the flu or a cold from turning into bronchitis?” Not necessarily, according to Carlos Picone, MD, a pulmonologist in private practice at Chevy Chase Pulmonary Associates in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and Johns Hopkins Medicines Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC .

Its common for a cold or the flu to be caused by an infection in the upper nasal respiratory epithelium, and theres nothing you can do to prevent that infection from spreading into the lower airways because those airways are so close to one each other, Dr. Picone explains. The two areas are very connected, he says.

Viral And Bacterial Infections

ASK UNMC! I have acute bronchitis. Will antibiotics help?

Bronchitis is usually caused by a virus. Less often, it’s caused by a bacteria.

In most cases, bronchitis is caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold or flu.

The virus is contained in the millions of tiny droplets that come out of the nose and mouth when someone coughs or sneezes.

These droplets typically spread about 1m. They hang suspended in the air for a while, then land on surfaces, where the virus can survive for up to 24 hours.

Anyone who touches these surfaces can spread the virus further by touching something else.

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Conditions Related To Bronchitis

As with other viral respiratory illnesses, acute bronchitis most commonly occurs during cold and flu season. Any upper respiratory infection can lead to bronchitis, but some common viruses associated with bronchitis are:

  • Influenza A and B
  • Rhinovirus
  • Respiratory syncytial virus
  • SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses, per the American Lung Association

While viruses account for the majority of acute bronchitis infections, some bacterial infections can also be a cause. Some bacterial illnesses related to bronchitis are:

  • Bordetella pertussis
  • Chlamydophila pneumoniae
  • Mycoplasma pneumoniae

In some cases, your illness may not be bronchitis but something else. If your cough persists for longer than three weeks, your doctor may need to evaluate you to rule out these possible conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Acute or chronic sinusitis

Taking Nutrition And Dietary Supplements

There is some evidence that supplements may benefit people with bronchitis. People should get advice from a healthcare provider when considering supplements. Some supplements interact with medicines or have side effects.

N-acetylcysteine is a derivative of the amino acid L-cysteine. One review found that NAC could help prevent sudden worsening of chronic bronchitis symptoms.

Probiotics are live microorganisms. When consumed as food or supplements, they are thought to maintain or restore beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.

Probiotics may regulate the immune system. Probiotics have been shown to be better than placebo in preventing respiratory tract infections and may have a beneficial effect on the

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Sulfamethoxazole And Trimethoprim Combination

The last of the antibiotics for bronchitis in this list is sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim combination. This is a synthetic antibacterial combination drug. It is usually used to treat a more chronic bronchitis in adults. The most common side effects of this medication include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite.

This medication should not be taken by patients who have a sensitivity or allergy to rimethoprim or sulfonamides.

Why It Is Important To Do This Review

Bronchitis Treatments

Some estimate of the probable effectiveness of antibiotic therapy for acute bronchitis is needed given the frequent occurrence of the condition. If found to be effective, antibiotics could shorten the course of the disease and consequently reduce the associated loss of productive work time. However, any benefit from antibiotics must be weighed against the possibility that excessive antibiotic use will lead to increases in cost and patient morbidity, as well as the development of resistant strains of common organisms, , and unnecessary medicalisation of individuals with a self limiting illness . If antibiotics are found to be ineffective, then their use should be discontinued.

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Avoidance Of Antibiotic Treatment For Acute Bronchitis/bronchiolitis

EHP, Priority Partners, and USFHP. Members age 3 months and older.

Percentage of episodes for members ages 3 months and older with a diagnosis of acute bronchitis/bronchiolitis, who were not dispensed an antibiotic medication on or 3 days after the episode. Looks at episodes between July 1 of the year prior to the measurement year through June 30 of the measurement year. The measure is reported as an inverted rate: A higher rate indicates appropriate treatment .

Criteria For Considering Studies For This Review

Types of studies

Randomised controlled trials in people with acute bronchitis assigned to treatment with an antibiotic or to a placebo or no active treatment.

Types of participants

We included trials evaluating people of either sex and any age with a clinical syndrome of cough with or without productive sputum, with a physician’s diagnosis of acute bronchitis or cough with persistent cold or flulike illness that was not resolving. The term ‘acute lower respiratory tract infection when pneumonia is not suspected’ is also used to describe this clinical presentation. We excluded trials that included people with preexisting chronic bronchitis .

Types of interventions

We included all randomised controlled trials comparing any antibiotic therapy versus no treatment or placebo in the management of acute bronchitis. We excluded trials comparing one antibiotic regimen with another, or trials comparing the use of other active medications with antibiotic therapy in this review. We included trials that allowed concurrent use of other medications such as analgesics, antitussives, antipyretics, or mucolytics if they allowed equal access to such medications to participants in both the antibiotic and the control group.

Types of outcome measures

We included the following range of coughrelated and general clinical outcomes.

Primary outcomes
  • time to resolution of cough

  • sputum production, defined as proportion of participants with or without sputum

  • General clinical outcomes including:

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    What Causes Acute Bronchitis

    Acute bronchitis is most often caused by a contagious virus. The same viruses that cause colds can cause acute bronchitis. First, the virus affects your nose, sinuses, and throat. Then the infection travels to the lining of the bronchial tubes. As your body fights the virus, swelling occurs and mucus is produced.

    You can catch a virus from breathing it in or by skin contact. You are at higher risk of catching the virus if you have close contact with someone who has a cold or acute bronchitis.

    Lesser-known causes of acute bronchitis are:

    • Bacteria or fungal infections.
    • Exposure to irritants, such as smoke, dust, or fumes. You are at greater risk if your bronchial tubes already have damage.
    • GERD , which causes heartburn. You can get acute bronchitis when stomach acid gets into the bronchial tubes.

    Complementary And Alternative Therapies

    Herbal Remedies for Bronchitis

    Many patients also use nonprescription, alternative medications for relief of their bronchitis symptoms. Studies have assessed the benefits of echinacea, pelargonium, and honey. Trials of echinacea in patients with bronchitis and the common cold have yielded inconsistent results, although studies showing positive results have been modest at best.25 Several randomized trials have evaluated pelargonium as a therapy for bronchitis. 2628 Modest benefits have been noted, primarily in symptom scoring by patients.27 In one randomized trial, patients taking pelargonium for bronchitis returned to work an average of two days earlier than those taking placebo.28

    One recent trial examined the effectiveness of dark honey for symptom relief in children with bronchitis compared with dextromethorphan or placebo. Although the authors concluded that symptom scores from patients treated with dark honey were superior to those treated with placebo, the clinical benefit was small.29

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    Natural Antibiotics For Bronchitis

    Natural antibiotics in bronchitis can not completely replace drugs, but they can fully protect the body from most infections, strengthen immunity , besides natural remedies do not destroy microflora in the intestine and do not provoke dysbiosis.

    For a long time people knew the products and plants that had anti-inflammatory and bactericidal properties during treatment. One of the most famous strong antibiotics of natural origin is garlic. It well destroys viruses, bacteria, parasites, penetrating into our body. Garlic acts fatal to such bacteria as Styrmococcus, Staphylococcus, Salmonella, diphtheria, tuberculosis. In total, garlic fights with 23 different bacteria.

    Onion is also a widely known powerful natural antibiotic that helps stop the reproduction of sticks of dysentery, diphtheria, tuberculosis, streptococcal, staphylococcal infections. The aroma of onion helps cleanse the airways.

    The root of horseradish contains lysozyme, which destroys the cellular structure of bacteria, thereby eliminating the infection.

    Black radish acts destructively on cells of microorganisms. In combination with honey, it has a strong bactericidal effect. In addition, it helps to strengthen the defenses of the body, weakened by the disease.

    Raspberry has long been known for its sweating, anti-inflammatory, bactericidal properties, besides, it has a good soothing effect. Raspberries are especially effective for diseases of the throat, bronchi, and the like.

    How Is Acute Bronchitis Spread

    If bronchitis is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, it is spread the same ways that colds are spreadby germs traveling through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. You can breathe the germs in if you are close enough. You could also touch something that has germs on it, like a door, and then transfer the germs by touching your nose, mouth or eyes. That is why good hand washing practices are important for adults and children.

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    What Is The Difference Between Bronchitis And Pneumonia

    In terms of symptoms, these two diseases may seem very similar. Both cause cough, fever, fatigue, and a heavy feeling in your chest. Bronchitis can sometimes progress to pneumonia.

    Despite similarities, the conditions are different. First, bronchitis involves the bronchial tubes, while pneumonia affects the alveoli, or the air sacs in the lungs. Second, pneumonia symptoms are usually much worse. In addition, pneumonia can be life-threatening, especially in older people and other vulnerable groups.

    If your symptoms do not get better in a week or so, it is best to contact your doctor.

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