Encyclopedia Home / A / Atypical pneumonia

Atypical pneumonia

  • Alternative Names

    Walking pneumonia; Chlamydophila pneumoniae; Community-acquired pneumonia - atypical


    Take these steps at home:

    • Control your fever with aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen), or acetaminophen. DO NOT give aspirin to children.
    • Do not take cough medicines without first talking to your doctor. Cough medicines may make it harder for your body to cough up the extra sputum.
    • Drink plenty of fluids to help loosen secretions and bring up phlegm.
    • Get a lot of rest. Have someone else do household chores.

    Antibiotics are used to treat atypical pneumonia.

    • You may be able to take antibiotics by mouth at home.
    • If you have severe atypical pneumonia, you will likely be admitted to a hospital, where you will be given antibiotics through a vein (intravenously), as well as oxygen.
    • Antibiotics are used for 2 weeks or more

    Antibiotics used to treat atypical pneumonia include:

    • Azithromycin
    • Clarithromycin
    • Erythromycin
    • Fluoroquinolones and their derivatives (such as levofloxacin)
    • Tetracyclines (such as doxycycline)

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Most patients with pneumonia due to mycoplasma or chlamydophila do well with the right antibiotic therapy. P.Legionella can be severe, leading to problems such as kidney failure, diabetes, COPD, a weak immune system, and death.

    • Brain and nervous system infections, such as meningitis, myelitis, and encephalitis
    • Hemolytic anemia, a condition in which there are not enough red blood cells in the blood because the body is destroying them
    • Severe lung damage

    Calling your health care provider

    Contact your health care provider if you develop fever, cough, or shortness of breath. There are numerous causes for these symptoms. The doctor will need to rule out pneumonia.