4 Methods for Treating Viral Pneumonia

May 7th 2016

In most cases, viral pneumonia is not as serious as bacterial pneumonia and typically resolves within one to three weeks. By seeking medical attention at the first onset of symptoms and following the physician's orders regarding medications and home treatments, viral pneumonia sufferers can look forward to complete recovery.

Antiviral Medications

If influenza is the suspected cause of viral pneumonia, doctors often prescribe antiviral flu medications, such as Tamiflu. The medications work to prevent flu viruses from spreading throughout the body. If respiratory syncytial virus is the suspected cause, doctors may prescribe the antiviral medication Virazone. RSV typically occurs in infants and children.

Pain Medications and Fever-Reducing Medications

Chest pain is a common symptom of viral pneumonia that is caused by chronic coughing. In many cases, physicians prescribe pain medications to treat symptoms of chest pain and body aches. Fever-reducing medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, are also recommended to lower fevers and reduce pain.

Breathing Treatments

Viral pneumonia can hinder breathing, as the condition causes the lungs to become inflamed. Installing a home humidifier can help ease inflammation and encourage balanced breathing. In certain cases, patients may require medical oxygen therapy to prevent complications.

Steroid Medications

Chest inflammation caused by viral pneumonia can cause breathing difficulties if the inflammation constricts the air passageways. Steroid medications help open up congested passageways, allowing for balanced breathing. It is imperative for individuals who are taking prescribed steroids to consult with a physician prior to discontinuing use, as stopping the medications abruptly can lead to complications.

Increased Fluid Intake

Increasing fluid intake during a bout of viral pneumonia is important, as fluids such as water help to prevent the dehydration that can result from high fever and sweating. Drinking extra fluids also helps loosen up mucus in the chest, making it easier to expel.

Bed Rest

In order to successfully recover from viral pneumonia, sufferers should rest as much as possible, as this allows the body to naturally recuperate. Sufferers should also avoid household chores and strenuous activities.


Viral pneumonia is a form of pneumonia that causes lung inflammation. The illness often occurs in response to viruses such as chickenpox, flu and adenoviruses; however, the reason that these viruses lead to viral pneumonia is not completely understood. Symptoms of viral pneumonia include fever, a hacking or dry cough, shaking chills, muscle aches and exhaustion. Individuals with viral pneumonia may also experience sweating and shaking chills.

Since viral pneumonia is the result of viruses as opposed to bacteria, the condition cannot be treated with antibiotics, but there are several conventional treatments that can help relieve symptoms and speed healing. It is imperative for individuals suffering from viral pneumonia symptoms to consult with a physician to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

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