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Treatment of viral pneumonia can be done at home for 5 to 10 days, and ideally should be started within the first 48 hours after symptoms appear.
If viral pneumonia or a case of flu is suspected caused by viruses with a higher risk of causing pneumonia, such as H1N1, H5N1 or the new coronavirus (COVID-19), in addition to measures such as rest and hydration, they can also antiviral drugs Oseltamivir or Zanamivir, for example, may be used to help clear the virus and prevent complications.
Other medications, such as corticosteroids, such as Prednisone, decongestants, such as Ambroxol, and analgesics, such as Dipyrone or Paracetamol, are used throughout the treatment to relieve symptoms such as accumulation of secretions and pain in the body, for example.
Medicines to treat viral pneumonia
Treatment of viral pneumonia or any suspected H1N1 or H5N1 virus infection involves the use of antiviral drugs prescribed by the general practitioner or pulmonologist, such as:
- Oseltamivir, known as Tamiflu, for 5 to 10 days, usually when caused by the Influenza virus, such as H1N1 and H5N1;
- Zanamivir, for 5 to 10 days, also when there is a suspicion of infection with the Influenza virus, such as H1N1 and H5N1;
- Amantadine or Rimantadine are also useful antivirals in the treatment of Influenza, although they are less used because some viruses may be resistant to them;
- Ribavirin, for about 10 days, in the case of pneumonia caused by other viruses, such as respiratory syncytial virus or adenovirus, which are more common in children.
In cases where viral pneumonia appears together with bacterial pneumonia, the use of antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, Azithromycin, Clarithromycin or Ceftriaxone, for example, for about 7 to 10 days is also indicated. Also learn how to identify and treat bacterial pneumonia in adults and children.
What are the remedies for COVID-19 pneumonia?
The only drug approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in Brazil is Remdesivir, which seems to accelerate healing, as it prevents the virus from replicating. However, this medication is only indicated for use in adults hospitalized with pneumonia who do not need to use a ventilator.
See more about drugs approved and being studied to treat COVID-19.
How long does the treatment last
Generally, treatment for cases of influenza caused by Influenza or pneumonia without complications, treatment is done for 5 days, at home.
However, when the person shows signs of seriousness, such as difficulty breathing, low blood oxygenation, mental confusion or changes in the functioning of the kidneys, for example, hospitalization may be necessary, with treatment prolonged for 10 days, antibiotics in the vein and use of an oxygen mask.
Care during treatment
During the treatment of viral pneumonia, the patient must take some precautions, such as:
- Avoid public places such as school, work and shopping;
- Stay at home, preferably at rest;
- Do not go to places with sudden changes in temperature, such as the beach or playground;
- Drink plenty of water daily to facilitate the fluidification of phlegm;
- Inform the doctor if there is an increase in fever or phlegm.
The viruses that cause viral pneumonia are contagious and especially affect people with weakened immune systems.Therefore, until treatment begins, patients must wear a protective mask, which can be purchased at the pharmacy, and avoid direct contact through kisses or hugs, for example.