General Practice 2022

Treatment for bacterial pneumonia

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Treatment for bacterial pneumonia
Treatment for bacterial pneumonia

The treatment of bacterial pneumonia is done with the use of medications that must be recommended by the doctor according to the microorganism related to the disease. When the disease is diagnosed early on and the doctor finds that the cause is bacteria and that it was acquired outside the hospital, treatment with antibiotics can be done at home, in mild cases, or in the hospital for a few days and if there are signs improvement, the doctor may let the person finish the treatment at home.

In cases of severe bacterial pneumonia, which occurs mainly in individuals with HIV, the elderly and children, it may be necessary for the person to stay in the hospital to receive antibiotics by vein. In addition, in these cases, chest physiotherapy may be necessary to help remove secretions and improve the patient's breathing.

Learn more about bacterial pneumonia.

Antibiotics for pneumonia

The antibiotic indicated in the treatment of bacterial pneumonia may vary according to the microorganism responsible for the infection, and may be indicated:

  • Amoxicillin;
  • Azithromycin;
  • Ceftriaxone;
  • Fluoroquinolones, such as levofloxacin and moxifloxacin;
  • Penicillins;
  • Cephalosporins;
  • Vancomycin;
  • Carbapenems such as meropenem, ertapenem and imipenem.

It is important that antibiotic treatment is carried out according to the doctor's advice and that it is continued even if there are no more signs or symptoms. In most cases the use of antibiotics should be continued for about 7 to 10 days, however it can be extended to 15 or 21 days depending on the severity of the infection and the person's he alth status.

Care during treatment

During treatment with antibiotics, it is important that the person takes some care to avoid complications and improve faster, being recommended to rest, drink plenty of water during the day and have a he althy and balanced diet.

Bacterial pneumonia is not transmitted from person to person, so the patient does not need to be isolated from other people, but it is important to avoid contact with others to facilitate their own recovery.

See how food can help recovery in this video:

Signs of improvement and worsening

Signs of improvement usually appear about 3 days after starting treatment with antibiotics, with a decrease in fever, cough and phlegm, as well as a reduction in shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

On the other hand, when treatment is not started soon after the onset of signs and symptoms of the disease, it is possible that signs of worsening are observed, such as an increase or persistence of fever, cough with phlegm, and there may be traces of of blood and increased shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.

The worsening can also be related to infections in other parts of the body or to the poor choice of antibiotics used, their combination or dosage.

Possible complications

In some cases, bacterial pneumonia can worsen with death of lung tissue or accumulation of pus in the lungs, requiring other antibiotics, puncture or placement of a drain to eliminate secretions.

Another possible complication that can occur is bacterial resistance to antibiotics, which can happen due to inappropriate use of antibiotics, for example. Understand why inappropriate use of antibiotics can lead to resistance.

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