Antibiotics and Pneumonia
When pneumonia is caused by bacteria, it is often treated with prescription medication. Some of the antibiotics used for pneumonia in this case include azithromycin, doxycycline, and ceftriaxone. Regardless of the drug you are taking, it's important to finish your entire course, even if you start to feel better. Pneumonia could return if you stop taking your antibiotics too soon.
Bacteria are a main cause of pneumonia. This is why antibiotics are often prescribed for people diagnosed with the condition. These drugs help kill the bacteria and provide a cure for pneumonia.
A number of different types of bacteria can cause pneumonia, and a number of different types of antibiotics can kill these bacteria. Before deciding which medication makes the most sense in a particular situation, a healthcare provider will consider:
- The possible cause of the infection
- What other medical conditions a person has
- Whether antibiotics have been prescribed in the last three months
- Where the person lives (some places are more likely to have bacteria that are resistant to certain types of antibiotics).
Antibiotics for pneumonia that are often prescribed to a person being treated at home may include one or more of the following:
- Azithromycin (Zithromax®)
- Clarithromycin (Biaxin®)
- Amoxicillin (Amoxil®)
- Amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium (Augmentin®)
- Levofloxacin (Levaquin®)
- Moxifloxacin (Avelox®)
- Gemifloxacin (Factive®)
- Erythromycin (often given for pneumonia in children).
People in the hospital due to pneumonia are often sicker and require more potent antibiotics. Some examples of medicines that may be used include:
- Ceftriaxone (Rocephin®)
- Cefotaxime (Claforan®)
- Ampicillin/sulbactam (Unasyn®)
- Ertapenem (Invanz®)
- Vancomycin (Vancocin®)
- Linezolid (Zyvox®).