Acute Bronchitis - Medications
Most cases of
acute bronchitis in otherwise healthy people go away
in 2 to 3 weeks. You typically only need nonprescription medicines to treat
your symptoms. Most people do not need to use prescription medicines, such as
- Over-the-counter cough suppressants may help you to stop coughing. And expectorants may
make coughing easier so you can bring up
mucus. Cough and cold medicines may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems. Before you use them, check the label. If you do use these medicines, always follow the directions about how much to use based on age and in some cases weight.
- Nonprescription pain relievers and fever reducers, such as
aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen.
Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age
Your doctor may prescribe:
What to Think About
Most cases of acute bronchitis
are caused by viruses, which are not affected by antibiotics. Using antibiotics
when they are not needed is expensive, it can lead to side effects from
antibiotic therapy, and some bacteria may become
resistant to the antibiotic. This resistance may make
the antibiotic less effective the next time you use it. Talk to your doctor
about antibiotics. Find out whether they are needed and what their benefits
and risks are in treating acute bronchitis.
If your doctor
prescribes antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just
because you feel better. You need to take the full course of
Corticosteroids, which may help relieve
difficulty breathing, frequent wheezing, or a persistent cough, may be
prescribed if other medical conditions such as
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or
asthma are present.
Other medicines may
be prescribed to treat complications, such as
pneumonia. The medicine used depends on the