i was diagnosed with pneumonia about 2 months ago with pleurisy. I was put on a couple of different antibiotics and the only thing that has changed was the color of my phlegm instead of being green and bloody its now just a thick white substance. i am having extremly bad pain in my chest its just about constant and gets worse with breathing and coughing. my doctor put me on pregnisone and anti-inflammatory's which just arent helping either is there anything else i can do? or could it be something else?
The thing about pneumonia is it's just a broad term for lung inflammation, and the air sacs filling up with fluid, but it isn't a specific diagnosis of what caused the pneumonia. Most pneumonia is infectious, and is most times caused by strep bacteria, so they throw antibiotics at it, and see how the patient responds, there are more aggressive atypical bacterial pneumonia that may require more aggressive treatment, also a persons age, and strength of their immune system is a major factor as well. But there are also viral, fungal, or less commonly parasitic causes of pneumonia. None of which is affected at all by antibiotics, each has it's own unique treatment. So the best would to do cultures on the phlegm and nail down what pathogen is causing the pneumonia. Their are non infectious causes of pneumonia also, but until a negative sputum culture is obtained I wouldn't worry too much about that.
An immune suppressant like Prednisone can temporarily relieve inflammation, and open up the airways, but it will also allow the pathogens to spread more easily. So it's a risk vs benefit scenario that has to be weighed, but should be avoided if possible.
You may need to even just get admitted to the hospital for a week or so, and get things under control again, some patients have a really hard time shaking pneumonia, and need supportive treatment. But first figuring out what pathogen or lack there of caused the pneumonia would be the best, and then go from there. I hope you get better soon, take care.
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