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Treatment and Medication

Treatment and Medication for the Flu

If you get the flu, stay home and take these steps:

  • Get bed rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Manage symptoms (e.g., headache, congestion) with non-prescription medications
  • Reduce contact with others to prevent passing on the infection

If you get the flu and have any health concerns, contact your health-care provider. If you are at a higher risk of complications from the flu, your health-care provider may prescribe an antiviral medication for you to take. Antiviral medications may reduce the severity of the flu and how long it lasts.

Treatment and Medication for Pneumonia

If you have any regular symptoms, see your health-care provider to be assessed as soon as possible.
Treatment may include:

  • Antibiotics if your pneumonia is suspected to be caused by a bacteria. Antibiotics do not treat viral pneumonia.
  • Rest at home
  • Plenty of fluids
  • Corticosteroid medication
  • Some people with severe pneumonia may need to go to the hospital to have additional support (e.g., oxygen, intravenous medication)

Most people with pneumonia can manage their condition at home with guidance and medication from their health-care provider. Some people with severe pneumonia may need to go to the hospital to have additional support (e.g., oxygen, intravenous medication).

People who have been admitted to the hospital with other medical conditions and develop pneumonia may become very ill and may need strong antibiotics.

If you are prescribed antibiotics it’s important to take them as directed by your health-care provider, even if you start to feel better. Do not take cough or cold medication unless approved by your health-care provider.

If you have mild pneumonia, you will usually begin to feel better within a few days or a week. If you have severe pneumonia where you spend time in the hospital, it may take several weeks before you feel better.