The time it takes to recover from pneumonia will depend on a number of factors. Some of the things that affect how long pneumonia lasts include your age, the severity of your symptoms, the cause of the pneumonia, and your general health.
If your pneumonia was caused by bacteria, your healthcare provider will likely prescribe antibiotics. People usually start to feel better three to five days after the medicines are started, with a return to normal activities within a week. Tiredness and a mild cough can take longer to get better -- in some cases, taking up to a month or longer.
In most cases, pneumonia can be treated at home; however, more serious cases often require time in the hospital. People who are treated in the hospital may need at least three weeks before they can go back to their normal routines.
(To learn more about how long this condition lasts, click Pneumonia Treatment. This article talks about the different treatment options and explains why antibiotics are not used in every case.)
Written by/reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: ArthurSchoenstadt, MD
List of references (click here):
Mandell LA, Wunderink RG, Anzueto A, et al. Infectious Diseases Society of America/American Thoracic Society consensus guidelines on the management of community-acquired pneumonia in adults. Clin Infect Dis. 2007;44 Suppl 2:S27.
Niederman MS, Mandell LA, Anzueto A, et al. Guidelines for the management of adults with community-acquired pneumonia. Diagnosis, assessment of severity, antimicrobial therapy, and prevention. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2001;163:1730.
Levison M. Pneumonia, including necrotizing pulmonary infections (lung abscess). In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 13th ed. New York (NY): McGraw-Hill;1994.
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