Question

Lung Disease and Respiratory System

Do I need antibiotics for bronchitis?

A Answers (1)

  • Antibiotics will rarely be needed since acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis are almost always caused by a virus and chronic bronchitis requires other therapies. However, treatment may be prescribed to relieve symptoms.

    When bronchitis is caused by a virus or irritation in the air (like cigarette smoke), antibiotic treatment will not help it get better. Since acute bronchitis almost always gets better on its own, it is better to wait and take antibiotics only when they are needed. Taking antibiotics when they are not needed can be harmful.

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Why do physicians prescribe antibiotics for acute bronchitis?