Pleuritis; Pleuritic chest pain
The health care provider can remove fluid in the lungs by thoracentesis and check it for signs of infection.
Treatment depends on what is causing the pleurisy. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. Some bacterial infections require a surgical procedure to drain all the infected fluid.
Viral infections normally run their course without medications. Patients often can control the pain of pleurisy with acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.
Recovery depends on what is causing the pleurisy.
- Breathing difficulty
- Collapsed lung due to thoracentesis
- Complications from the original illness
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of pleurisy. If you have breathing difficulty or your skin turns blue, seek immediate medical care.
Review Date: 08/28/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicin, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.