Bronchitis – An Overview
Bronchitis is a condition that is characterized by an infection of the lungs. Bronchitis is quite common. A primary symptom present in bronchitis is coughing – the result of inflammation of the airways in the pulmonary system and overproduction of mucus. Other symptoms of bronchitis include an uncomfortable feeling in the chest, feeling tired and fatigue. Bronchitis infections are caused by bacteria, viruses, and even irritating chemicals or substances in the environment that get into the lungs.
Bronchitis Treatment Strategies
Some forms of bronchitis require no specific medical treatment as the bronchitis symptoms will go away on their own. Bronchitis symptoms that will generally resolve on their own include bronchitis caused by viruses and sometimes minor exposure to environmental causes such as smoking. Unfortunately, it is often not easy to tell if acute bronchitis symptoms have been caused by a bacteria or another cause when the decision to provide bronchitis treatment is made.
Bronchitis Medications – Overview
One class of medication used to treat bronchitis is antibiotics. Specifically, antibiotics used to manage bronchitis include azithromycin (Zithromax), erythromycin (Erythrocin), amoxicillin / clavulanic acid (Augmentin) and doxycycline. In addition to antibiotics, medications such as bronchodilator inhalers such as albuterol and cough suppressants such as benzonatate are sometimes utilized to reduce symptoms in acute bronchitis infections.
Bronchitis Treatment – Antibiotics
One antibiotic used to treat acute bronchitis symptoms is azithromycin. Azithromycin is marketed in a convenient blister pack regimen known as a Z-pak (Zithromax). When no contraindications exist, azithromycin is often the first choice for bronchitis treatment, even when compared to other macrolide antibiotics like erythromycin. Some people cannot take macrolide antibiotics and, in those settings, Augmentin (amoxicillin / clavulanic acid) is sometimes used. Augmentin is a combination of an antibiotic, amoxicillin, and clavulanic acid, a beta-lactam drug. Doxycycline is another type of antibiotic that is sometimes prescribed to treat bronchitis. Doxycycline belongs to a class of antibiotics known as tetracycline antibiotics. Cefdinir is also sometimes used in treating acute exacerbations of chronic bronchitis.
Bronchitis Antibiotics – Side Effects
All medications, including antibiotics used to treat symptoms of acute bronchitis, can cause side effects. Common side effects of bronchitis medications include nausea, vomiting, stomach upset and a rash. Depending on the medication, more severe side effects include problems with the nervous system or the heart. Also, medications used for bronchitis treatment, like all medications, can cause an allergic reaction in susceptible people. Prior to taking medications for bronchitis treatment, one should discuss possible side effects with a medical provider and pharmacist.
Bronchitis vs. Pneumonia
Some people wonder what the difference is between bronchitis and pneumonia. One way to think about bronchitis versus pneumonia is that they more or less exist on the same spectrum of disease. One difference between bronchitis and pneumonia is that bronchitis tends to be milder in severity while pneumonia generally presents with moderate to severe symptoms. Pneumonia also presents with fever and muscle aches more frequently than bronchitis. While bronchitis sometimes resolves without the use of antibiotics, pneumonia almost always requires antibiotic treatment and, in severe cases, admission to the hospital.
Bronchitis Treatment – Online
Some types of medications used to treat bronchitis (e.g. antibiotics, inhalers) require a prescription and, as such, one cannot simply buy bronchitis medications that require a prescription online. Instead, prescription medications used to treat bronchitis symptoms need to be dispensed by a pharmacy with a prescription from a licensed medical provider. Patricia (Nurse Pattye) Anderson, FNP bc helps people suffering from acute bronchitis symptoms to provide bronchitis treatment if it is safe and appropriate to do so.