Antibiotics are medications that are used for relieving illnesses that are caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Pneumonia is one such illness, which results due to pathogenic infection. Different kinds of pathogens can contribute to pneumonia, but the most common type of pathogen is Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is a bacterium that is also known as pneumococcus bacteria.
What are antibiotics?
Antibiotics are medications that destroy infectious bacteria and stop their further growth and multiplication. It deactivates the bacterial cells and turns them weak. They make it easier for the immune system to fight off the bacteria and prevent it from causing any further damage. Based on the type of germ that has caused the infection, your healthcare provider will suggest to you a tailor-made antibiotic course plan. The course will be for a duration of around five to seven days.
These medications must be taken over a period, as prescribed by your healthcare provider. In case you stop consuming them and fail to complete the course, then the bacteria that survived will gain immunity and become more powerful. They will not get affected by the immune system’s response. The germs will become antibiotic resistant and as a result, they will continue to grow and multiply aggressively.
Moreover, your healthcare provider will suggest the type and dose of antibiotic medication based on several factors that are listed below:
The dose and the type of antibiotic drugs differ among individuals of different ages. The dose and type of antibiotic used to treat infections in adults are not suitable for children and infants and vice versa.
This will help in determining the individual’s ability to fight off the infections. The faster the recovery, the better the immune system’s response in killing off infectious germs.
Some antibiotics may not be appropriate to be taken when the individual has some chronic disease. It can worsen their condition. Also, antibiotics can interact with the drugs they are using to manage their chronic health condition, which can lead to dangerous side effects.
Smokers are highly prone to bacterial infections. Such individuals can develop antibiotic resistance to bacterial infections. They may require a certain type of antibiotics.
Those who are or were hospitalized are more susceptible to bacterial infections like pneumonia. If in case such an individual has caught the infection, the bacteria are more resistant to antibiotics due to their prevalence in the medical environment. Such individuals require to be put on a stronger and higher dose of antibiotics medications.
Based on various factors, the doctor will rule out the treatment. They will consider all the factors and prescribe an appropriate antibiotic medication that effectively fights off infectious pathogens. If the infection is community-acquired pneumonia, then it can be managed with mild and common types of antibiotics. However, when it is Healthcare-associated pneumonia and Ventilator-associated pneumonia, the antibiotics will be extremely powerful and may be required to be consumed in high doses, as the pathogens that cause these two types of infections are resistant to many types of antibiotics.
Things to discuss with your doctor
You must get an appointment to gain some clarity regarding the symptoms you are experiencing. If you suspect that you have caught pneumonia, then you must see them immediately. The symptoms of pneumonia are the same as the common cold and flu, but the chest pain and breathing difficulties will be intense in the case of pneumonia. For confirming, you must see your doctor. They will ask several questions regarding the symptoms you are experiencing, how long you have been experiencing them, and about general health, and lifestyle.
They will conduct your physical examination using a stethoscope, which is a device that checks whether there is something unusual with your lungs. Pneumonia is a lung infection, which leads to the accumulation of fluid and pus that thickens and when the stethoscope is used to listen to the sounds of your chest, the fluid that is accumulated in your lungs will produce a cracking sound.
After the initial examination, they will suggest some diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of the infection. When the test results are revealed, they will proceed with the proper treatment. Pneumonia can be treated with medications. Different types of medications can be used in combination to manage the infection and quicken the treatment and recovery process.
Things you should prepare before you see your doctor
- Keep a record of all the symptoms that are experiencing and for how many days you have been experiencing these symptoms.
- Keep a record of your medical history of infectious diseases and your current chronic health conditions.
- Prepare a list of medications, supplements, vitamins, and other drugs you are consuming now.
- You must ask them what measures you can take to speed up the treatment time. Ask them how you can take care of your health while at home.