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Treatment for pneumonia will vary depending on the type of pneumonia you have been diagnosed with as well as the severity. 

Treatment may include: 

  • Antibiotics if your pneumonia is caused by a bacteria. Antibiotics do not treat viral pneumonia. 
  • Staying home to rest  
  • Drinking 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) 
  • If you have asthma or COPD, you may need to increase or add additional medications you take daily for your lung disease.  

Most people can treat their pneumonia at home with the guidance of their health care providers. However, some people who develop severe pneumonia may need to go to the hospital to receive additional treatments such as oxygen therapy, medications by intravenous (IV), and stronger antibiotics.  


If you are prescribed antibiotics, take them exactly as they have been prescribed to you.  Do not stop taking your antibiotics early, even if you start to feel better.  Do not take cough or cold medication unless approved by your health-care provider. 

Timeline to Recovery

Depending on the severity of the pneumonia, your age, other health conditions, and your overall health, when you start to feel better can vary.  Some people start to feel better after a week, whereas others take several weeks to feel better.