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How long antibiotics course and recovery for pneumonia in otherwise fit and healthy adult?

(28 Posts)
BlueOnMondayNight Sat 28-Jan-17 20:42:55

As a general guide, how long would an otherwise fit and healthy adult be on antibiotics for if he/she had pneumonia?

And how long can you expect recovery to take?

I appreciate everyone's different, but as a general guide?

Stuffedshirt Sat 28-Jan-17 20:49:02

It depends on the type of antibiotics but a five day course of penicillin would probably be usual. You will start to feel better fairly quickly but it's important to rest and have plenty of fluids. flowers

ArriettyClock1 Sat 28-Jan-17 20:51:10

I was admitted to hospital in July with a chest infection, later diagnosed as pneumonia.

They wanted me to stay in but I discharged myself. I had a week's prescription of amoxicillin (500mg) but only managed 3 days as they gave me a rash.

I had 5 days off work (first time ever!). I had a really weird cough and elevated heart rate for another 6 weeks but felt fine and was able to run and train at the gym as before.

MichaelSheensNextDW Sat 28-Jan-17 21:05:03

I've had ten days of doxycycline for pneumonia.

SheepyFun Sat 28-Jan-17 21:13:16

Really depends. If GPs (yes, plural) have been struggling to diagnose and you end up being blue-lighted in while no longer fully with it, then a week in hospital, 3 more weeks off work (despite a sedentary job), and another 3-4 months to normal fitness. When, if you are unlucky, you get it again.... (at least diagnosis was rather quicker second time round). Antibiotics were intravenous for the first 3 days, then another week orally. Can't remember what they were - sorry.

BlueOnMondayNight Sat 28-Jan-17 21:20:48

no hint of hospital in this case I'm thinking about...

Twopeapods Sat 28-Jan-17 21:49:59

I was very ill with it for 5 days and sent home twice from GP. I ended up going straight to hospital as I genuinely thought I was going to die. I had sepsis at this point. I had IV antibiotics for 24 hours until discharged (I had a six week old baby I needed home for) 1000mg of amoxicillin for a week plus a second antibiotic to work alongside it but can't remember the name and it dropped to 500mg of amoxicillin for the second week. I was poorly though.

Twopeapods Sat 28-Jan-17 21:51:28

A few weeks until I could look after the kids myself but many months before I felt normal again. Still get pain from time to time 18 months on. I think it depends how severe it is.

Twopeapods Sat 28-Jan-17 21:53:13

Oh sorry for third post. I had bacterial pneumonia that came on very suddenly. Was fine at 3am for feeding baby feeling normal , 6am could not physically move and was barely conscious. It might make a difference if it's bacterial or viral.

mrsnoon Sat 28-Jan-17 21:57:51

A week of high dose amoxicillin for me and my mum. A week off work for me (which wasn't enough and I went back far too soon but things were piling up at work and making me twitchy about going back) but 3 weeks for my mum although she does have some other health problems.
I also needed a second lot of antibiotics for a severe sinus infection which the amoxicillin didn't shift - the doctor said I was "full of infection", which was nice!

lauryloo Sat 28-Jan-17 22:00:11

I had pneumonia last spring and I was ill for weeks. I had several courses of antibiotics and was just absolutely exhausted. I've never known tiredness like it

In all it took me about 3 months to properly get over it

annandale Sat 28-Jan-17 22:08:34

Don't know about antibiotics, but recovery - would budget for 6 weeks' proper careful convalescence. I know someone who had pneumonia, was back at work within 2 weeks, collapsed again within a couple of months, and without wanting to be negative, she has basically never really recovered and hasn't worked full time since then, which was 30 years ago. She had an incredibly healthy lifestyle before that (physical outdoor job, teetotal, barely heard of most drugs, took half an aspirin once a year, that kind of thing). Having said that, her family always said she wasn't strong, though I could never see t myself - guess they were right.

SheepyFun Sat 28-Jan-17 22:11:32

If you've avoided hospital, our best experience (!) was spotting pneumonia early on, seeing the GP within half an hour (they were doing better this time), a week's worth of antibiotics, no time off work, but a few weeks (maybe a month) of feeling under par.

As an intermediate experience (we've had fun), when diagnosis took about a week (unusual combination of symptoms), another week's worth of antibiotics, 2 weeks off work, and 2-3 months of not being fully well. Though the poor sufferer (not me, but a close family member) will probably never really be fully well again. However there have been 4 episodes of pneumonia so far (in 3 years) with additional complications - the first episode (with the blue lights) was the most severe, and led to a range of tests that you will hopefully be spared.

HyacinthsBucket Sat 28-Jan-17 22:13:40

I had pneumonia last Christmas. I had 14 days of high dose clindamycin, which cleared my chest but I took around 6 weeks to feel that my lungs had fully recovered and I was able to do the dog walks that I had been able to before. You need to really rest as your body is working so hard to breathe at first, and lots of probiotics/healthy food helps.

gazingatthestars Sun 29-Jan-17 08:27:25

Sheepy my oh had the same -one day of awful symptoms high heartbeats, clammy skin and sweating, terrible cough, temp etc - we whisked him straight to out of hours who wanted to admit him to hospital via a and e but he refused, took high dose antibiotics, was much better within 12 hours as antibiotics work really fast. Next day was v I'll but could work from home for two days then back to work properly. Week - 10 day course of antibiotics in total.

BingBongBingBong Sun 29-Jan-17 08:29:43

2 weeks of antibiotics and took me 6 months for my lungs to feel 'normal' again

Fairylea Sun 29-Jan-17 08:33:00

I've just recovered from something similar (glandular fever and bacterial tonsillitis) which knocked me for six. I had two days of iv antibiotics as they suspected I had an abscess and then 3 week long courses of antibiotics after that. I think for big infections etc everyone responds differently.

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Sun 29-Jan-17 08:33:14

As PPs have said, antibiotics will hopefully clear any bacteria causing the pneumonia within a relatively short period of time (usually 1 week of ABs).
However the actual physical recovery & "feeling right / well" again can take many weeks.

gazingatthestars Sun 29-Jan-17 08:37:16

I should add he's still under the whether 2 weeks in so does take time to get properly back to normal

christinarossetti Sun 29-Jan-17 08:44:24

I don't think OP is asking about herself, but is possibly suspicious about how 'ill' someone else is.....

OP, there's a huge range of extent of unwellness with pneumonia, as this thread shows. At least a week of being extremely unwell and then, if treatment is prompt, a few weeks or longer of being very, very below par and exhausted is best case scenario.

I had a week off with pneumonia years ago in my early 30s. My neighbour in her late 40s is just recovering. She couldn't get out of bed for 2 weeks, and is still not able to walk the half mile to school, 2 months after her first diagnosis.

Crumbs1 Sun 29-Jan-17 08:46:31

Entirely depends. Community acquired pneumonia in fit adult usually gets a 7 day course and recovery should be uneventful in a couple of weeks. (But of course it's rarely the fit adult who gets pneumonia).
I have an underlying lung condition that means I end up in hospital with pneumonia 5-6 times a year (we sent our children to boarding school because of it). I take antibiotics year round anyway but add in another course given intravenously for a couple of days. I generally need oxygen for a couple of days too. I then go,home to,continue on oral antibiotics and am back at work by day 4 as I don't want to take too much time off sick.
Others feel more debilitated by it and some say they need six weeks recovery time but I can't see how you would really need this long unless you were a little old lady.

teainbed Sun 29-Jan-17 08:49:47

The guidelines say fever should settle after a week, chest pain 4 weeks, cough should settle after 6 weeks and fatigue/malaise up to 3 months which is sort of what pp have been saying as their experiences. Assuming we're talking genuine community acquired pneumonia and not just an upper respiratory tract infection.

Finola1step Sun 29-Jan-17 08:50:29

Had it 3 years. Knocked me sideways. First 7 day course of antibiotics did nothing. Then a different antibiotic for 10 days. I have never felt so ill.

I took 3 weeks off work. Returned and had someone say "Pneumonia, isn't that just like a bad cough?".

It took me many, many months to feel well again.

Is it you unwell OP?

Finola1step Sun 29-Jan-17 08:53:42

Oh and the hospital thing means nothing. I had pneumonia in the winter and wasn't admitted. My neighbour who is a GP hinted that at other times of the year, I might have been admitted as I was not responding to oral antibiotics. But in the depths of winter, it was actually safer to treat me at home.

wfrances Sun 29-Jan-17 20:10:52

i was hospitalised the last time - and had iv then oral co - amoxiclav and clarithromycin(sp)for 10 days
i didn't fully recover ,i developed full blown asthma.
second time 7 days amoxicillin - felt better after 4 weeks
first time , hospitalised iv abs then oral at home -chest bad for 12 months had to have an asthma pump until it settled.

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