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  • Reviewed on 12/10
    By Dr. Christopher A Czaja, MD

Pneumonia: Treatment


The key to successful treatment is prompt medical care.  The treatment will depend on how severe the symptoms are and the type of organism causing the infection. 

 

Medications 

The key to successful treatment is prompt medical care.  The treatment will depend on how severe the symptoms are and the type of organism causing the infection.  Antibiotics are used in bacterial infections.  Antiviral medications may be used for treatment of influenza pneumonia. Inhaled quick-relief medicine is used at times to keep the airways open, especially for those people who have asthma or bronchitis.  If severe pneumonia is present a person may need to stay in the hospital.  Additional treatment may include rest, fluids, oxygen, and techniques to help bring up the sputum.

 

Prevention 

Pneumococcal bacteria is one common cause of bacterial pneumonia.  A vaccine is available to help prevent this type of pneumonia.  It is recommended for adults over 65 years of age; very young children; or anyone ages 2 through 64 with certain chronic health problems, a weakened immune system or who smoke.  Discuss the need for this vaccine with your health care provider.

  A yearly flu vaccine may be helpful in decreasing pneumonia caused by influenza, and bacterial pneumonia that can sometimes follow influenza.  Ask your health care provider about what vaccines are best for you.

Other preventive measures include good medical control of chronic lung and sinus problems, good hand washing and avoiding smoke. If you smoke, ask your doctor about ways to give up smoking.

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