If you are having symptoms and think you may need antibiotics for pneumonia, it is important to see a qualified medical professional for help. Do not take any antibiotics you may saved from a previous prescription, or take antibiotics that are given to you by someone other than a licensed professional. Whether or not your provider prescribes you antibiotics for pneumonia depends on the type of pneumonia you have and how severe it is.
The two most common types of pneumonia are bacterial and viral, but pneumonia can also be caused by fungi. Out of these three types of pneumonia, only one is treated with antibiotics.
Bacterial Pneumonia – Yes
Bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics because antibiotics can kill specific bacteria. When taking antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia, you may start to feel better after a few days. Even if you feel better, do not stop taking your antibiotics until you have completed the full dose. Stopping the antibiotics early could lead to the infection coming back.
Viral Pneumonia – No
Viral Pneumonia is not treated with antibiotics, because they have no affect on the viruses that cause it. Instead your healthcare professional may prescribe an antiviral medication and you should begin to feel better in 1 to 3 weeks.
Fungal Pneumonia – No
There are three types of fungi in the soil in some parts of the U.S. can cause pneumonia. They are:
- Coccidioidomycosis (Southern California and the Southwest desert)
- Histoplasmosis (Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys)
Most people who are exposed to this fungi do not get pneumonia, but some do and need treatment. For those who do, antifungal medications are given.
If you think you may need antibiotics for pneumonia, visit a FastMed clinic near you and speak with one of our health professionals. Our state-of-the-art clinics have on-site labs and digital x-rays that can help us determine if you have pneumonia. Our clinics have extended hours and are open 7 days a week.