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The best acute bronchitis treatments depend on the cause of the condition. If a person has acute bronchitis that is caused by a virus, he may treat it at home with rest, liquids, a humidifier, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. When home treatment proves inadequate, however, medical professionals may prescribe medications called beta-2 antagonists to help open up tight, irritated airways. Bronchitis caused by bacteria, however, is often best treated with antibiotics.
Home care techniques typically make the best treatments for bronchitis. A person with this condition may apply the same techniques as he might to caring for himself while he has the flu or a bad cold. For example, a person with this illness should get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids to stay well hydrated. He may also use a humidifier to keep the mucus in his airways loose so his coughs will prove more effective in clearing it.
OTC remedies are also among the best acute bronchitis treatments. While they cannot cure bronchitis, they may help a person feel better while he is sick. For example, an individual may use a cough suppressant to temporarily stop a cough or an expectorant to make coughing up troublesome mucus easier. Likewise, pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin may be useful for treating fever and providing relief from accompanying aches and pains. Most healthcare professionals recommend against the use of aspirin for children, however.
Sometimes, prescription medications make the best treatment for acute bronchitis. This may be the case, for example, when an individual with bronchitis has trouble breathing. In such a case, a medical professional may prescribe medication called beta-2 antagonists to help open the patient’s airways. Often, these medications also help relieve coughing.
Most people who are diagnosed with acute bronchitis do not need antibiotics to treat it, but there are some cases in which they are beneficial. For example, a medical professional may prescribe antibiotics if a patient has developed bronchitis because of a bacterial infection or if he is at risk of serious complications as a result of the illness. Unfortunately, antibiotics are not effective against the majority of cases because bronchitis is usually caused by a virus. Interestingly, many medical professionals routinely prescribed antibiotics for bronchitis in the past, but today they are less likely to do so because their unnecessary use is a contributing factor in the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.