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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

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Pneumonia - Home Treatment

Home treatment is important for recovery from pneumonia. The following measures can help you recover and avoid complications:

  • Get plenty of rest. Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Take care of your cough if it is making it hard for you to rest. A cough is one way your body gets rid of the infection. And you should not try to stop your coughing unless it is severe enough to make breathing difficult, cause vomiting, or prevent rest.
  • Consider taking acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or aspirin to help reduce fever and make you feel more comfortable. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 because of the risk of Reye syndrome. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.

Your doctor may want to see you after a week of treatment to make sure you are getting better. Be sure to contact your doctor if you do not feel better, your cough gets worse, you have shortness of breath or a fever, you feel weak, or you feel faint when you stand up.

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Cough and cold medicines

Be careful with cough and cold medicines. They may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems, so check the label first. If you do use these medicines, always follow the directions about how much to use based on age and weight.

Always check to see if any over-the-counter cough or cold medicines you are taking contain acetaminophen. If they do, make sure the acetaminophen you are taking in your cold medicine plus any other acetaminophen you may be taking is not higher than the daily recommended dose. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how much you can take every day.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 06, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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