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How can antibiotics help treat bronchitis?

ANSWER

Antibiotics are powerful medicines that treat bacterial infections, but acute bronchitis is usually caused by a viral infection. Antibiotics don’t help with a virus.

If your doctor thinks the cause is bacteria, you might get a prescription for antibiotics. If so, be sure to take the full prescription of antibiotics. Even if you feel better, the infection could still be in your system. You want to make sure you kill all the bacteria on the first try.

SOURCES:

National Institutes of Health -- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What are the signs and symptoms of bronchitis?” “What is bronchitis?” “Living with bronchitis?”

American Lung Association: “Diagnosing and Treating Acute Bronchitis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Bronchitis: Test and Diagnosis,” “Bronchitis: Treatment.”

National Council on Aging: “Acute Vs. Chronic Conditions: What’s the Difference?”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on December 06, 2016

SOURCES:

National Institutes of Health -- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “What are the signs and symptoms of bronchitis?” “What is bronchitis?” “Living with bronchitis?”

American Lung Association: “Diagnosing and Treating Acute Bronchitis.”

Mayo Clinic: “Bronchitis: Test and Diagnosis,” “Bronchitis: Treatment.”

National Council on Aging: “Acute Vs. Chronic Conditions: What’s the Difference?”

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on December 06, 2016

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What other medications can help with bronchitis?

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