Treatment for pneumonia involves curing the infection and preventing complications.
People who have community-acquired pneumonia usually can be treated at home with medication. Although most symptoms ease in a few days or weeks, the feeling of tiredness can persist for a month or more. Some people with severe pneumonia will need to go to the hospital to have additional support of oxygen and medication intravenously.
If you are prescribed antibiotics it is important to take the medicine as your doctor prescribes, even if you start to feel better. Do not take cough or cold medicine unless your doctor says it is okay.
If you have a milder pneumonia, you will usually begin to feel better within a few days or a week. If you have severe pneumonia, where you spend time in the hospital you may take a number of weeks to feel better.
People who have been admitted to the hospital with other medical conditions and develop pneumonia may become very ill and could require stronger antibiotics intravenously (IV). Note: Antibiotics do not treat viral pneumonia. Some of the treatment of viral pneumonia may include drinking lots of fluids, corticosteroid medicine (to reduce inflammation), oxygen therapy and rest.
These tips can help you recover more quickly and decrease your risk of complications:
Get plenty of rest. Don't go back to school or work until after your temperature returns to normal and you stop coughing up mucus. Even when you start to feel better, be careful not to overdo it. Because pneumonia can recur, it's better not to jump back into your routine until you are fully recovered. Ask your doctor if you're not sure.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to help loosen mucus in your lungs.
Take your medicine as prescribed. Take the entire course of any medications your doctor prescribed for you. If you stop taking medication too soon, your lungs may continue to harbor bacteria that can multiply and cause your pneumonia to recur.