ZocdocAnswersDo antibiotics have anything to do with pneumonia?

Question

Do antibiotics have anything to do with pneumonia?

Are you supposed to get antibiotics if you have pneumonia. I think that I have pneumonia. What if I can't get antibiotics? Do they have anything to do with pneumonia?

Answer

Pneumonia is a respiratory condition caused by an infection of the lung. Pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses, and less commonly, fungi. Bacterial pneumonia is normally the most serious type and requires the use of antibiotics. It is very important to see your primary care doctor to discuss your symptoms and have a full physical examination. Sometimes it is clear from your symptoms that you are suffering from pneumonia but occasionally your doctor may order an x-ray of your lungs to see if there is any signs of pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia include cough (often with mucus), fever, shaking chills, shortness of breath, and fatigue. It can be difficult to determine whether pneumonia is caused by a bacteria or a virus so antibiotics are often prescribed to be on the safe side. It is important to not miss any doses of the antibiotic and take it until it is completely gone, even if you start to feel better before this. Again, it is very important to see your primary care doctor as soon as possible (or go to an urgent care or emergency room if your symptoms are severe or you can't get an appointment with your doctor) to be evaluated and receive appropriate treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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