Treatment of Bronchitis

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Antibiotics are often prescribed for treatment of bronchitis, but the drugs are hardly a help to patients. Dr. Edward Hill explains why in his discussion of bronchitis treatment in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Bronchitis is an infection in your chest that is caused by germs. It is usually caused by viruses but can also be caused by bacteria. Cough is the main symptom and may last for two or three weeks. You may also have fever, body aches and wheezing.

Because antibiotics dont work against viruses, they usually dont help people with bronchitis. Antibiotics can also cause side effects, such as thrush. Using antibiotics when theyre not needed can cause germs to become resistant to antibiotics. Antibiotics might be given to some patients with bronchitis caused by bacteria.

Most medicines dont help the symptoms of bronchitis. It is important to rest and drink enough fluids. Over-the-counter medicines for aches and fevers might help. But, over-the-counter cough medicines dont help much and shouldnt be used in children younger than 6. Cough drops, honey or a pill called pelargonium can be used to help with coughing and other symptoms.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.