Pleurisy

  • Alternative Names

    Pleuritis; Pleuritic chest pain


    Treatment

    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.


    Support Groups


    Expectations (prognosis)

    Recovery depends on what is causing the pleurisy.


    Complications
    • 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.