Antibiotic therapy should be initiated immediately after the confirmation of the “pneumonia” diagnosis. Antibiotics for pneumonia treatment should be administered in optimal dosages and at such intervals that would allow establishing and maintaining a therapeutic concentration of the drug in the blood and lung tissue.
As a rule, treatment of uncomplicated pneumonia involves the use of oral antibiotics. For the treatment of very severe pneumonia, doctors use sequential therapy, which involves switching to oral medication after several days of IV induction therapy.
The effectiveness of pharmacological treatment for pneumonia depends on:
- state of the patient’s immunological reactivity
- species of the pathogen and the disease severity
Making a choice of antibiotic for the treatment of pneumonia is a difficult task that requires a physician high level of training and a large number of diagnostic tests made. Antibiotic treatment of pneumonia should have the following characteristics:
- minimal negative impact on the body;
- activity against the most frequent pathogens of the disease;
The antibiotic therapy for pneumonia should continue until the disappearance of intoxication and lung function stabilization. The criteria for the evaluation of the effectiveness of pneumonia treatment include:
1. achievement of the therapeutic effect: restoration of normal body temperature within 1-2 days in uncomplicated pneumonia and within 3 days in complicated pneumonia.
2. achievement of at least very good partial response to antibiotic: after 3 days of treatment, the body temperature remains high (>38°C), yet the patient’s appetite improved and dyspnea decreased.
3. lack clinical effect: the body temperature remains high (>38°C), the patient’s condition worsened – an increase in dyspnoea and hypoxemia. Deterioration of the patient’s condition requires changing the antibiotic.
Depending on the patient’s age, patients can be prescribed different antibiotics for pneumonia. Adults are diagnosed with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) more often, than younger patients are.
Macrolide antibiotics (Erythromycin, Spiramycin, Clarithromycin) are the drugs of choice for CAP therapy in adults, caused by “atypical” microorganisms (mycoplasma, chlamydia and others). Macrolides penetrate well into the bronchial mucus and the lung tissue, and are characterized by a favorable safety profile.
Beta-lactam antibiotics (Penicillins, Cephalosporins, Carbapenems, Monobactams) may become an alternative to macrolides for CAP treatment. Their effectiveness in the pharmacotherapy of pneumonia is due to potent bactericidal activity against key pathogens and low toxicity.
Of all antibiotics for pneumonia, Azithromycin is suitable for the treatment of Legionella pneumonia. The antibiotic is produced in dosage forms for oral and parenteral use, which makes it possible to use Azithromycin in sequential pneumonia therapy.
Factors that complicate the use of antibiotics for pneumonia:
- accompanying illnesses
- untimely initiation of treatment
- allergies and side-effects
- change in immunobiological reactions
Antibiotics are not the only medications that are used for the treatment of pneumonia. During the antibiotic therapy, patients may be prescribed:
- inhaled corticosteroids (ICS)
The duration of antibiotic course depends on the variety and severity of the disease. As a rule, a stable remission of the disease is achieved 3-10 days after the treatment initiation.
In conventional pharmacies, patients can have their prescriptions for antibiotics filled only with a prescription from the attending physician. Their price is often high. If you want to buy cheap antibiotics for pneumonia over the counter, look for them in online pharmacies.