Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Most cases of acute bronchitis resolve without medical treatment in two weeks.

Medications

In some circumstances, your doctor may prescribe medications, including:

  • Antibiotics. Bronchitis usually results from a viral infection, so antibiotics aren't effective. However, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic if he or she suspects that you have a bacterial infection.
  • Cough medicine. It's best not to suppress a cough that brings up mucus, because coughing helps remove irritants from your lungs and air passages. If your cough keeps you from sleeping, you might try cough suppressants at bedtime.
  • Other medications. If you have allergies, asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), your doctor may recommend an inhaler and other medications to reduce inflammation and open narrowed passages in your lungs.

Therapies

If you have chronic bronchitis, you may benefit from pulmonary rehabilitation — a breathing exercise program in which a respiratory therapist teaches you how to breathe more easily and increase your ability to exercise.

Apr. 01, 2014