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Pneumonia Facts (cont.)

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What is the treatment for pneumonia?

Antibiotic medications are the treatment of choice for pneumonia caused by bacterial and fungal infections. The exact choice of medications depends on many factors, including

  • the organism responsible for the infection,
  • the likelihood that the organism is resistant to certain antibiotics,
  • the patient's underlying health condition.

About 80% of cases of CAP can be managed at home with the patient taking oral antibiotics. There are numerous treatment regimens available. Initial treatment (before the causative organism has been identified) is called empiric treatment and is based upon the organisms most likely to be responsible. Once the exact organism has been identified and susceptibility testing performed to determine which antibiotics are effective, the treatment regimen can be further individualized. In around 20% of cases, CAP must be managed in the hospital, typically with intravenous antibiotics initially. HAP is managed in the hospital, typically with intravenous antibiotics.

Antibiotics are not effective against viral pneumonia. Depending upon the type of virus that causes pneumonia, antiviral medications can provide benefit when started early in the course of the disease. For example, the medications oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza) are used to treat influenza virus infections. Antifungal agents are used to treat most fungal pneumonias.

What are complications of pneumonia?

There are a number of potential complications of pneumonia. The infection that causes pneumonia can spread to the bloodstream, causing sepsis. Sepsis is a serious condition that can result in lowering of blood pressure and failure of oxygen to reach the tissues of the body. Another complication is the accumulation of fluid in the space between the lung tissue and the chest wall lining, known as a pleural effusion. The organisms responsible for the pneumonia may infect the fluid in a pleural effusion, known as an empyema. Pneumonia can also result in the formation of an abscess (collection of pus) within the lungs or airways.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/13/2014

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Pneumonia - Symptoms Question: What were your pneumonia symptoms?
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Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/pneumonia_facts/article.htm

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