How is walking pneumonia treated?

Walking pneumonia is usually mild, does not require hospitalization and is treated with antibiotics (if your doctor thinks bacteria is causing your symptoms). Several types of antibiotics are effective. Antibiotics that are used to treat walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae include:

  • Macrolide antibiotics: Macrolide drugs are the preferred treatment for children and adults. Macrolides include azithromycin (Zithromax®) and clarithromycin (Biaxin®). Over the past decade, some strains of Mycoplasma pneumoniae have become resistant to macrolide antibiotics, possibly due to the widespread use of azithromycin to treat various illnesses.
  • Fluoroquinolones: These drugs include ciprofloxacin (Cipro®) and levofloxacin (Levaquin®). Fluoroquinolones are not recommended for young children.
  • Tetracyclines: This group includes doxycycline and tetracycline. They are suitable for adults and older children.

Often, over-the-counter medications can also be taken to help relieve symptoms of nasal congestion, cough and loosen mucus buildup in the chest. If you have a fever:

  • Drink more fluids
  • Rest
  • Take medicine

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