Pharmacotherapy for respiratory disorders Pneumonia

Pharmacotherapy for respiratory disorders Pneumonia

Pharmacotherapyfor respiratory disorders


Accordingto (2012), pneumonia is an infection of the lungs which maybe caused either by a fungus, bacteria or virus. The infection causesthe inflammation of the alveoli, as they fill up with pus making itdifficult for the individual to breathe. Pneumonia symptoms vary frommild to life-threatening. While various drugs are available forpneumonia treatment depends on the cause, severity of the condition,and age (Arcangelo &amp Peterson, 2013).

Themost common symptoms associated with bacterial pneumonia that canturn from mild to severe in a couple of days include: chest pain,shaking chills, fever, dry cough, muscle aches, nausea/vomiting,rapid breathing, increased heartbeat, and difficulty in breathing(Arcangelo&amp Peterson, 2013). Other symptoms that may warrant a medicalemergency are:confusionespecially in older people,presenceof blood in sputum,highfever (103°F or higher), andbluish tone in the skin due to lack of oxygen (Arcangelo &ampPeterson, 2013).


Oncean individual is diagnosed with pneumonia, treatment is prescribeddepending on the type, severity, age and overall health (Arcangelo &ampPeterson, 2013). Pneumonia treatment aims at curing the infection andpreventing any further complications. In the case of bacterialpneumonia it may take some time to identify the exact bacteriacausing the pneumonia (Arcangelo &amp Peterson, 2013). However, thebest form of medication is through antibiotics. Thedoctor might prescribe antibiotic pills to treat lung infectiondepending on the severity of pneumonia (Arcangelo&amp Peterson, 2013).The first line treatments that are normally prescribed in thetreatment of bacterial pneumonia are azithromycin and levofloxacin.If the symptoms do not improve in two to three days, the doctor mightrecommend a different line of antibiotics such as: Anticholinergicagents or Beta-adrenergic receptor agonists (Arcangelo&amp Peterson, 2013).

Anticholinergicagents would be offered to an individual with emphysema,chronic bronchitis or cold since they helpa person to breathe more easily by relaxing the lung muscles(NationalHeart Lung and Blood Institute, 2007). Themost common drug prescribed by physicians is ipratropiumbromide.Beta-adrenergic receptor agonists, alsoreferred to as (Beta-agonists), on the other hand help in relaxingthe airway, and they also block the release of substances that causethe narrowing of the lungs (NationalHeart Lung and Blood Institute, 2007). Commonlyused drugs are albuterol and terbutaline.

Effectof behavior on drug therapy

Pneumoniacan affect anyone. However, young children especially under fouryears and the elderly are more susceptible (Arcangelo&amp Peterson, 2013). It is very important to take antibiotics inthe correct way. Prolonged use of azithromycinand levofloxacinmay cause an imbalance in the digestive system, which in turn affectsan individual’s behavior and mood (Arcangelo &amp Peterson, 2013).Moreover, these drugs might also cause yeast infection in women.Anticholinergicagents such as ipratropiummay cause shortnessof breath, wheezing and difficulty with breathing (Arcangelo &ampPeterson, 2013). For the pregnant women, I would be hesitant toprescribe Beta-agonistssuch as albuterol and terbutaline. Some of the side effects of usingthese drugs especially during prolonged labor are irregularheartbeat, high blood pressure, excessive fluid in the lungs andheart attack (Arcangelo&amp Peterson, 2013).

Reducingthe side effects

Ifused in the correct manner, antibiotics are relatively safe to use asa treatment option. However, like most drugs they do have sideeffects. The most common adverse effects of antibiotics are allergicreactions and antibiotic-associated diarrhea (, 2012). Mildallergic reactions result to skin rashes while severe reactions mightresult in shortness of breath and whizzing. In order to reduce theside effects of antibiotics it is important for patients to disclosewhether they have had any previous cases of allergies as a result ofantibiotic medications. According to (2012), to counterantibiotic-associated diarrhea, a patient should drink plenty ofwater, soft drinks or over the counter rehydration fluids.


Arcangelo,V. P., &amp Peterson, A. M. (Eds.). (2013). Pharmacotherapeuticsfor advanced practice:A practical approach (3rd ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams &ampWilkins.

NationalHeart Lung and Blood Institute. (2007). Expert panel report 3 (EPR3):Guidelinesfor the diagnosis and management of asthma.Retrieved from Retrieved from