Doctors use antibiotics to treat pneumonia that is caused by bacteria. Although experts differ on their recommendations, the
first antibiotic used is usually one that kills a wide range of bacteria
(broad-spectrum antibiotic).8, 9 All antibiotics used have a high cure rate for
There are many types of antibiotics. Your doctor will decide which antibiotic will work best for you. In most cases, a doctor will
prescribe antibiotics without first identifying the exact organism causing the
Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems
If you don't get better with your first antibiotic, your doctor may add a second antibiotic to cover
other bacteria that are not being treated with the first
one. Or you may have more testing to identify the specific organism that is
causing the pneumonia.
Sometimes doctors use two antibiotics when first starting treatment.
What to think about
More and more bacteria are becoming resistant to certain antibiotics, making them less
effective. An example of this is MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, which is resistant to many types of
penicillin. To help fight antibiotic resistance, ask your doctor
how to take your antibiotics correctly, such as always finishing your
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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