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Treatment of Acute Bronchitis

Acute bronchitis is very common disease affecting both adultpeople and children. Current medical literature and research recommend thenon-use of antibiotic medications for this problem, but many doctors stillprescribe these drugs to their patients. It is estimated that about 70% ofpatients suffering from acute bronchitis get prescription antibiotics, althoughthey are completely unnecessary. The problem becomes much worse, because this practice of prescribing antibiotics when they arenot needed causes increased number of patients resistant to certain antibiotics.For this reason, these patients might face some very serious medical problemsat some point of their life.

Antibiotics should be prescribed to treat people withchronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but this is not the case ifsomeone’s suffering from acute bronchitis. The most common cause of acutebronchitis is viral infection and antibiotics simply don’t work against viruses. Doctors can differentiate these two conditions by the sputum, which ispurulent if the patient is having acute bronchitis caused by some virus.

When to Use Antibiotics for Acute Bronchitis

In most cases, acute bronchitis last for maximum of 7 daysand antibiotics are advised to be used only if patient doesn’t get better afterthat time. Viral influenza can complicate acute bronchitis, and if the symptomsdon’t disappear after a week consult your doctor if you need antibiotics.

There are also some other times, when the use of antibioticdrugs is recommended in patients suffering from acute bronchitis. Persistent coughingthat last for a long time in patient suffering from acute bronchitis allows thedoctor to prescribe antibiotics. Macrolide antibiotics, such as erythromycin orazithromycin are efficient against Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Bordetella pertusisand Chlamydia pneumonia, which are all bacteria known to cause long-lastingcough in some cases.

If the condition of the patient worsens, it might indicatethat it is caused by some bacteria and the patient need to be examined again todiagnose the condition. Bacterial infection as the cause of acute bronchitisshould be treated with antibiotics.

Patients suffering from cystic fibrosis frequently get infectedwith Staphylococcus aureus. This gram negative bacterium requires treatmentwith antibiotics. The same therapy is recommended for patients suffering fromCOPD, infected with Haemophilus influenzae or Streptococcus pneumoniae.

Above mentioned are the only medical exceptions when acutebronchitis should be treated with antibiotic drugs. All patients should knowthat antibiotics are not recommended for all cases and that these medicationsshould be used only if and when necessary.

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