What is the role of drug treatment for pneumothorax?

Updated: Apr 28, 2020
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Mary C Mancini, MD, PhD, MMM  more...
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Answer

Medication may be necessary to treat a pulmonary disorder that causes the pneumothorax. For example, intravenous antibiotics are included in the treatment of a pneumothorax that developed as a sequela of staphylococcal pneumonia. In addition, studies suggest that the administration of prophylactic antibiotics during chest tube insertion may reduce the incidence of complications such as emphysema. Clearly, the use of analgesics can provide patient comfort until the thoracostomy tube is removed. Some authors advocate the use of intercostal nerve blocks to increase patient comfort and decrease the need for narcotic analgesics.

In patients with repeated pneumothoraces who are not good candidates for surgery, sclerotherapy with talc or doxycycline may be necessary.


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