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Viral Pneumonia (cont.)

Viral Pneumonia Home Remedies

  • If you've been diagnosed with viral pneumonia, you need to rest and drink plenty of fluids.
  • If you overexert yourself when you are sick, even with a virus, you can prevent your immune system from fighting off the illness, and possibly get even sicker.
  • You can use over-the-counter medicines to reduce fever, body aches, and cough. Although some medicines can help you feel better, you still need rest. These medicines won't cure you, and your body still needs rest to have the energy to fight the infection and to heal itself.

Viral Pneumonia Treatment

If you are diagnosed with a viral pneumonia, an antibiotic will not help you get better faster. Antibiotics work only on illnesses caused by bacteria. Your best treatment is to rest and keep yourself hydrated. But there are some bacteria that do not behave like standard bacteria when they cause pneumonia. These are referred to as atypical infections with organisms like Mycoplasma, Legionella, and Chlamydia. These infections do respond to antibiotics. So if your physician is not certain if your infection is viral or due to one of these atypical bacteria, an antibiotic may be prescribed to cover these atypical organisms.

  • If your doctor suspects your pneumonia is caused by an influenza virus, you may get a prescription for an anti-flu medicine. It must be started within 36 hours of the beginning of symptoms to be effective. Four drugs are available: Amantadine (Symadine, Symmetrel), rimantadine (Flumadine), and oseltamivir (Tamiflu) are pills or capsules. Zanamivir (Relenza) is a powder that you inhale directly into your lungs.
  • Varicella pneumonia is almost always serious enough to need treatment with acyclovir (Zovirax) or a similar antibiotic. You can take this drug by mouth or, if you are severely ill and in the hospital, by IV.
  • Respiratory syncytial virus usually needs treatment for symptoms only. If you are sick enough to be in the hospital, you might be treated with ribavirin (Rebetol).
  • Treatment of adenovirus and parainfluenza virus pneumonia is also just to relieve symptoms.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2016

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Pneumonia, Viral »

Viral respiratory tract infections are the most common cause of symptomatic human disease among children and adults.

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