Antibiotics For Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs characterized by the accumulation of fluid in the air-filled sacs of the organ. This lung disorder is commonly caused by bacteria, virus, or parasites. It can also result from physical or chemical injury. The air-filled sacs of the organ absorb atmospheric oxygen, thus lung inflammation results to difficulty in breathing.
The most common symptoms of pneumonia are high fever coupled with chills, yellow or greenish sputum, and acute chest pain.
The natural defense mechanism of the body triggers the symptoms of bacterial and viral pneumonia. These types of pneumonia result when microorganisms invade the lungs. In response, the immune system produces more neutrophils. These are blood cells that attack the foreign microorganisms. The natural defense mechanism also results to high number of active cytokines, a type of protein that plays a role in regulating the immune system. Chills, fever, and fatigue may result when cytokines start activating the immune system.
Diagnosing pneumonia usually involves chest X-ray, physical examination, sputum culture analysis, and blood tests. Swelling and other symptoms can be remedied by oral antibiotics, fluid intake, home care, and rest. For severe cases, particularly among the elderly, hospitalization may be required. Antibiotic alternatives are rarely used in treating viral pneumonia, which often subsides over time, though it is possible that a bacterial pneumonia may develop thereafter.
Antibiotics for pneumonia are highly effective. In prescribing which antibiotic to use, physicians consider the type of microorganism that causes the lung infection and its sensitivity. However, treatment can start as soon as the results of the physical examination are obtained for laboratory tests and other extensive diagnostic procedures may not be enough to accurately identify the cause of pneumonia. Succeeding treatments would depend on the results of such diagnostic tests. Whether the disease is community- or hospital-acquired should also be taken into account when deciding on the type of treatment.
Amoxicillin is usually used for community-acquired pneumonia. Patients who are allergic to penicillin are often treated with erythromycin instead. In some regions of North America where atypical cases of community-acquired pneumonia are relatively high, the preferred treatments usually include clarithromycin, azithromycin, and fluoroquinolones such as levofloxacin, gemifloxacin, and moxifloxacin.
Bacteria that cause pneumonia usually breed in the throat. They reproduce exponentially and get into the lungs when the immune system is too weak or impaired. A weak immune system can be attributed to old age, malnutrition, falling ill several times, and too much use of antibiotics.
Fortunately, there are herbal alternatives that can be used to treat the symptoms of pneumonia. Herbal treatment is a safe and natural method to strengthen the immune system.
Antibiotics should only be prescribed as a medicine of last resort. It is because harmful microorganisms can develop drug resistance when antibiotics are used in minor cases of pneumonia or those that cure themselves over time. On the contrary, herbal alternatives can be safely used as a preliminary means of intervention for cases that do not warrant immediate antibiotic treatment.
Although most antibiotics for pneumonia bring positive results, they theoretically increase the risk of drug resistance when used for a prolonged period of time.