Which antibiotic is the best?
In the case of pneumonia, the drug of choice is an antibiotic from the group of aminopenicillins (e.g. amoxicillin). However, which antibiotic works best in pneumonia depends on the patient’s age and concomitant diseases, his nicotine and alcohol consumption and the severity and cause of the infection. The most suitable medication is assessed for each case and decided individually by the doctor.
The duration of administration of the antibiotic
Typically, infectious pneumonia requires antibiotics to be taken, with treatment usually lasting seven days. The drugs can be taken orally in tablet form. The recommended duration of antibiotic intake should not be undercut under any circumstances, as this promotes the development of resistant bacteria.
For mild disease progression, oral treatment is sufficient, whereas for severe pneumonia, antibiotics must be administered intravenously. For this purpose, the patient is given peripheral venous access and the medication is then administered into the body via an infusion. The antibiotic is usually administered for five to seven days and the patient must remain in hospital during this time.
When can one expect an improvement?
Normally a treated pneumonia is completely cured after three weeks at the latest. If there is no improvement, the drug therapy may have to be changed and more intensive treatment in hospital may be necessary. In order to determine whether a patient has to be admitted to hospital due to pneumonia, the CRB-65 score is used. This is a clinical index that estimates the severity of pneumonia. If there is clouding of consciousness, an increased respiratory rate, a drop in blood pressure or a patient over 65 years of age, the patient will be admitted in any case and further treatment in hospital.
What do you do if the antibiotic does not work?
If pneumonia is present, the doctor prescribes broad-spectrum antibiotics relatively generously, as the infection must be treated quickly to prevent complications. The symptoms should improve quickly under drug therapy. If there is still no improvement after a few days, it is possible that the antibiotic treatment will not work.
Under these circumstances it may be necessary to admit the patient to hospital. There, the exact pathogen can be diagnosed and, if necessary, other antibiotics can be administered that specifically target the germ. Other reasons why the antibiotic may not work in pneumonia may also be that the infection was caused by viruses or parasites.
Depending on the pathogen, other active substances must then be administered. Conventional antibiotics are no longer effective even in the case of so-called resistant strains of bacteria. These pathogens have developed through frequent antibiotic applications and must be treated with a more aggressive antibiotic therapy (with special reserve antibiotics). You can find more information about antibiotic resistance here.