Pneumonia: Treatment


Pneumonia is a common infection of the lungs. It can be serious, and it can cause you to be hospitalized. The options used to treat you will depend on your age, your overall health and the severity of your infection.

Initial Treatment

Initially, pneumonia is treated with rest and with medications. You may be given antibiotics, antiviral medications, cough medicine or fever reducers. All of these can help ease your symptoms. Take the entire course of your prescription medications.


A severe case of pneumonia may require hospitalization. This is especially true for people who are very young or very old. It is also true for people who are in poor overall health. You may need to be hospitalized if you experience confusion, nausea, vomiting or a drop in blood pressure. You may need to be hospitalized if you have breathing difficulty, or if your temperature drops. Young children may need to be hospitalized if they show these signs, or if they have increased sleepiness, a low blood oxygen level or dehydration.


If you are hospitalized for pneumonia, you may be in the hospital for one to four days. You may be given IVs, medications and breathing assistance. And when you are released, you will continue to recover for days or weeks. Follow your doctor's instructions to help speed your recovery time.