How is mycoplasmal pneumonia treated?

Updated: Dec 28, 2018
  • Author: Michael Joseph Bono, MD, FACEP; Chief Editor: Guy W Soo Hoo, MD, MPH  more...
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Mycoplasmal pneumonia should be considered as a possible etiology in any patient who presents with three weeks or more of a steadily progressive cough. Patients are usually not critically ill but seek relief from the persistent, worsening cough. Occasionally, various pulmonary and extrapulmonary complications may occur and may require emergent attention.

Antibiotic prophylaxis for exposed contacts is not routinely recommended. However, macrolide or doxycycline prophylaxis should be used in households in which patients with underlying conditions may be predisposed to severe mycoplasmal infection, such as those with sickle cell disease or antibody deficiencies. One study indicated that macrolide-resistance rates were increasing among children and that clinicians should consider alternative antibiotics if the patient's condition continues to deteriorate after macrolide treatment. [7]

If patients with pneumonia due to M pneumoniae require admission, use of standard and droplet precautions are recommended for the duration of the illness. Supportive therapy and antimicrobial administration are the mainstays of treatment (See Medication).

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