Pulmonary antibiotics



Coverage targeted at S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae. M. pneumoniae, C. pneumoniae, and Legionella



Chronic heart, lung, liver, or renal disease; DM, alcoholism, malignancy.


  • Monotherapy or combination therapy is acceptable. Combination therapy includes a cephalosporin and macrolide targeting atypicals and Strep Pneumonia [1]
  • The use of adjunctive corticosteroids (methylprednisolone 0.5 mg/kg IV BID x 5d) in CAP of moderate-high severity (PSI Score IV or V; CURB-65 ≥ 2) is associated with:[2]
    • ↓ mortality (3%)
    • ↓ need for mechanical ventilation (5%)
    • ↓ length of hospital stay (1d)

Community Acquired (Non-ICU)

Coverage against community acquired organisms plus M. catarrhalis, Klebsiella, S. aureus

Hospital Acquired or Ventilator Associated Pneumonia

Ventilator Associated Pneumnoia

  • High Risk of MRSA: Use 3-Drug Regimen. Several options are available, but recommendation is to include an antibiotic from each of these categories:[3]

ICU, low risk of pseudomonas

ICU, risk of pseudomonas


  • Antibiotics do not help with severity or duration but may decrease infectivity.
  • A reasonable guideline is to treat persons aged >1 year within 3 weeks of cough onset and infants aged <1 year and pregnant women (especially near term) within 6 weeks of cough onset. [4]
  • TMP--SMZ should not be administered to pregnant women, nursing mothers, or infants aged <2 months.[5]
  • The following regemins are for active disease or postexposure prophylaxis. If a patient is has confirmed disease and is likely to be in contact with infants or pregnant women then the patient should be treated as up to 6-8 weeks after the onset of their illness.

< 1 month old

Same antibiotics for active disease and postexposure prophylaxis

>1 month old

  • Azithromycin 10mg/kg (max 500mg/day) daily x 5 days
    • if > 6 months old then day 2-5 of treatment should be reduced to 5mg/kg (250mg/day max)
  • TMP/SMX 4mg/kg PO BID daily for 14 days (if > 2 months old)


andy of the following antibiotics are acceptable although azithromycin is most commonly prescribed

See Also

Antibiotics by diagnosis

For antibiotics by organism see Microbiology (Main)


  1. Chokshi R, Restrepo MI, Weeratunge N, Frei CR, Anzueto A, Mortensen EM. Monotherapy versus combination antibiotic therapy for patients with bacteremic Streptococcus pneumoniae community-acquired pneumonia. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. Jul 2007;26(7):447-51
  2. Siemieniuk RA, Meade MO, Alonso-Coello P, Briel M, Evaniew N, Prasad M, Alexander PE, Fei Y, Vandvik PO, Loeb M, Guyatt GH. Corticosteroid Therapy for Patients Hospitalized With Community-Acquired Pneumonia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. Aug 11, 2015
  3. Kalil AC, Metersky ML, Klompas M et al. Management of Adults With Hospital-acquired and Ventilator-associated Pneumonia: 2016 Clinical Practice Guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Thoracic Society. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Sep 1;63(5):e61-e111.
  4. CDC - Pertussis http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/clinical/treatment.html
  5. CDC MMWR Pertusis http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5414a1.htm