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Some of the best bronchitis treatments are taking antibiotics and drinking plenty of fluids to thin out thick bronchial secretions. When bronchitis is caused by a bacterial infection, broad spectrum antibiotics are generally effective. If, however, bronchitis is viral in nature, other bronchitis treatments will need to be employed, because antibiotic therapy is ineffective in treating viral infections. It is important for patients to complete their entire course of prescribed antibiotics to be sure to kill the infection. Where pill swallowing is an issue, liquid antibiotics are available.
Amoxicillin, a common antibiotic, is frequently used in treating bronchitis, as it is very effective in resolving the infection and reducing symptoms of coughing, fever, and congestion. Sometimes, when bronchitis treatments such as amoxicillin are ineffective, stronger antibiotics are often needed. People who have taken many courses of antibiotics in their lifetime may have developed a resistance to the drugs, rendering the antibiotics ineffective for their infections. In these cases, alternative medications are available, however, they can produce significant side effects and adverse reactions, such as temporary or permanent kidney damage, although these occurrences are rare.
Many times, when an individual is suffering from bronchitis, he will also experience body aches, headache, and fever. Over-the-counter pain relievers are often effective in relieving these symptoms, even though they are not directly treating the bronchitis itself. In addition, medications that thin out mucus secretions are extremely valuable as bronchitis treatments. Typically, bronchitis patients suffer from thick secretions that are difficult to expectorate. Medications tailored to thin out mucous make it easier for the patient to cough up secretions, so that they do not stagnate in the lungs and cause further infection.
Other bronchitis treatments include cough suppressants and expectorants. A cough suppressant can quiet a persistent cough, and is especially useful for those experiencing nighttime coughing. Cough expectorants, however, do little to stop a bronchial cough, but they allow for easier expectoration of stubborn mucous and can ease coughing-related chest pain and discomfort. When cough medications are not effective, the physician may prescribe a nebulizer or breathing treatment. These treatments employ the use of a machine called a nebulizer that holds medications that are inhaled into the lungs to relieve congestion. Nebulizer treatments are also effective for asthma and emphysema.