Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Viral Infection in the Lungs Home Care

Home care for viral pneumonia includes:


Home care for chest wall pain includes:
  • Apply cold compresses:
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours, for the first few days.
  • After several days, apply warm compresses:
    • Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 4 hours.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
  • Perform deep breathing exercises:
    • Perform the exercises every 4 hours
  • Rest the chest:
    • Do not lift heavy objects.

Viral Infection in the Lungs Cough in Adults

Home treatment of a cough in adults with viral pneumonia includes:

  • Avoid respiratory irritants, such as pollution, pollen, mold, dust and chemical fumes
  • Change A/C and furnace filters regularly.
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke
  • Drink warm liquids to relieve coughing spasms.
  • Raise the head of your bed at night and sleep on your left side: this minimizes acid reflux.
  • Use throat lozenges.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.

Cough medications:

Cough medication precautions:

Viral Infection in the Lungs Cough in Children

Home treatment of a cough in children with viral pneumonia includes:

  • Avoid respiratory irritants, such as pollution, pollen, mold, dust and chemical fumes
  • Change A/C and furnace filters regularly.
  • Avoid exposure to secondary smoke.
  • Drink warm liquids to relieve coughing spasms.
  • Use throat lozenges, but do not use them in children under 5 years of age.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.

Cough medicines:

Dosing Dextromethorphan
Childs WeightDextromethorphan Dose
22 lb (10 kg)5 mg every 8 hrs
33 lb (15 kg)7.5 mg every 8 hrs
44 lb (20 kg)10 mg every 8 hrs
55 lb (25 kg)12.5 mg every 8 hrs
66 lb (30 kg)15 mg every 8 hrs
88 lb (40 kg)20 mg every 8 hrs
110 lb (50 kg)25 mg every 8 hrs
132 lb-adult (60 kg)30 mg every 8 hrs

Cough medication precautions:

Viral Infection in the Lungs Pain and Fever Adults

Medications commonly used to control pain and fever in adults with viral pneumonia include:


Acetaminophen
  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Adult dosing is 2 regular strength (325 mg) every 4 hours or 2 extra-strength (500 mg) every 6 hours.
  • Maximum dose is 4,000 mg per day.
  • Avoid this drug if you have alcoholism, liver disease or an allergy to the drug. See the package instructions.
  • Common brand names include Tylenol, Panadol, and many others.

Aspirin

Ibuprofen

Naproxen

Ketoprofen

NSAID Precautions

Viral Infection in the Lungs Pain and Fever Children

Common medications used at home for pain and fever in children with viral pneumonia include:


Aspirin and most of the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not used in children except under a doctor's care.

Acetaminophen
  • Acetaminophen decreases fever and pain, but does not help inflammation.
  • Dosing is 10-15 mg per kilogram (5-7 mg per pound) of body weight every 4-6 hours, up to the adult dose.
  • Do not exceed the maximum daily dose.
  • Acetaminophen products come in various strengths. Always follow the package instructions.
  • Avoid this drug in children with liver disease or an allergy to acetaminophen.
  • Common acetaminophen products include Tylenol, Panadol and many others.

Ibuprofen

Naproxen

Viral Infection in the Lungs Warning Signs

Notify your doctor if you have viral pneumonia and any of the following:

Viral Infection in the Lungs Wheezing

Home care for mild wheezing due to viral pneumonia includes:

  • Avoid exposure to smoke.
  • Avoid cough medicine.
  • Avoid sedative medications.
  • Avoid substances that trigger wheezing.
  • Drink plenty of liquids to remain hydrated.
  • Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.

Home care for those who take medication for wheezing includes:
  • Follow asthma home care instructions.
  • Learn to use prescribed inhalers correctly.
  • Use short-acting inhalers every 20 minutes, or as directed by your doctor.
  • Long-acting medications must be used regularly.
  • Learn to use a peak flow meter.
  • Know the peak flow danger zones.
  • Develop a strategy for using your inhaler based on your PEFR reading
  • Stay calm during a wheezing attack.

Peak Flow Zones:
  • Green Zone: a PEFR that is 80-100% of personal best represents good control
  • Yellow Zone: a PEFR that is 50-80% of personal best represents a moderate attack
  • Red Zone: a PEFR that is less than 50% of personal best represents a severe attack and may identify the need for treatment in an emergency department

Continue to Viral Infection in the Lungs Prevention

Last Updated: Jan 7, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Viral Infection in the Lungs References
  1. Cheng VC, Tang BS, Wu AK, Chu CM, Yuen KY. Medical treatment of viral pneumonia including SARS in immunocompetent adult. J Infect. 2004 Nov;49(4):262-73. [15474623]
  2. de Roux A, Marcos MA, Garcia E, Mensa J, Ewig S, Lode H, Torres A. Viral community-acquired pneumonia in nonimmunocompromised adults. Chest. 2004 Apr;125(4):1343-51. [15078744]
  3. Pugh RN, Omar RI, Hossain MM. Varicella infection and pneumonia among adults. Int J Infect Dis. 1998 Apr-Jun;2(4):205-10. [9763503]
  4. Virkki R, Juven T, Rikalainen H, Svedstrom E, Mertsola J, Ruuskanen O. Differentiation of bacterial and viral pneumonia in children. Thorax. 2002 May;57(5):438-41. [11978922]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.