Merck Manual

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How Is Community-Acquired Pneumonia Treated?

How Is Community-Acquired Pneumonia Treated?

Severity

Possible Drugs

Comments

Mild pneumonia in otherwise healthy people with no risk factors*

Azithromycin

Clarithromycin

Doxycycline

Drugs are taken by mouth.

People are treated at home.

Mild pneumonia in people with risk factors*

Amoxicillin

Amoxicillin plus clavulanate

Azithromycin

Cefpodoxime

Cefuroxime

Clarithromycin

Doxycycline

Levofloxacin

Moxifloxacin

Drugs are usually taken by mouth.

Often, more than one drug is taken.

People are treated at home.

Moderate pneumonia

or

Pneumonia in people who cannot care for themselves

Azithromycin

Cefotaxime

Ceftriaxone

Levofloxacin

Moxifloxacin

Drugs are usually given intravenously in a hospital.

Often, more than one drug is given.

Severe pneumonia in people with many risk factors*

Some of the same drugs used for moderate pneumonia

Aztreonam

Cefepime

Ciprofloxacin

Imipenem plus cilastatin

Meropenem

Piperacillin plus tazobactam

Drugs are usually given intravenously in an intensive care unit.

Usually, more than one drug is given.

*Risk factors include heart or lung disorders, cancer, alcoholism, age older than 65, recent use of antibiotics, and a weakened immune system (for example, because of AIDS, organ transplantation, or use of drugs that suppress the immune system).