Antibiotics for Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a condition in which the air sacs in one or both the lungs are inflamed due to an infection caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses or parasites.
The air sacs fill with pus and fluid, and this causes cough with phlegm, fever, chills and in severe cases, even difficulty breathing.
Antibiotics will be prescribed for bacterial pneumonia.
Read on to learn more about antibiotcs for pneumonia and when to book an appointment with a PlushCare physician to get an official diagnosis and prescription.
Who is at Risk of Pneumonia?
Pneumonia can range from mild to life-threatening, and much of this range depends on age and medical history.
Pneumonia can affect anyone, but it tends to be most severe in infants and seniors over the age of 65.
The chances of pneumonia are also high in those with respiratory problems or a compromised immune system.
Below is a list of those most at risk of pneumonia:
- Those 2 years and younger
- People 65 and older
- Stroke survivors who have swallowing problems or are bedridden. (Small amounts of liquids in the lungs from improper swallowing can build up and lead to pneumonia by providing a breeding ground for bacteria.)
- Those with weakened immune systems due to disease such as HIV/AIDS
- People who smoke, abuse drugs and alcohol
- People with asthma, cystic fibrosis, diabetes or heart failure
The symptoms of pneumonia vary from mild to severe, depending on many factors such as the type of germ that is causing the infection, age and the overall health of an individual.
Other symptoms of pneumonia include:
- chest pain especially when coughing
- confusion and disorientation of awareness among seniors
- lowered body temperature among seniors and those with weakend immune systems
- cough with phlegm
- shortness of breath
- shaking chills
In the case of infants, the symptoms are not obvious, but they may vomit and have difficulty breathing.
When To See a Doctor
You should book an appointment with a PlushCare physician if:
- you have difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- a fever of more than 102 degrees F
- a persistent cough and pus or vomit while coughing
In the case of seniors and those with chronic lung problems, get to a doctor right away as pneumonia can be life-threatening.
Diagnosis and Pneumonia Treatment
Your doctor is likely to recommend one or more of the following to get an official diagnosis:
- blood tests
- chest x-ray
- pulse oximetry (tests the oxygen level in the blood)
- sputum test (analyzes the fluid from your lungs after a deep cough)
These tests will help to identify whether you have pneumonia, which type of pneumonia, and the underlying cause.
In some cases, a CT scan and pleural fluid culture is also recommended. This is more likely if you are over 65 years of age and have other related health complications.
If your test results show you have bacterial pneumonia, antibiotics will be prescribed. Along with antibiotics, pain relievers and cough medicine are typically recommended.
How Plushcare works
- Book an appointment with a Plushcare doctor and they will recommend and write a referral for the necessary tests.
- Have your test results sent back to the PlushCare doctor and he or she will prescribe the right antibiotic and treatment options.
- Pick up the prescribed medication(s) from your local pharmacy and get relief from pneumonia.