Acute bronchitis medical therapy

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Seyedmahdi Pahlavani, M.D. [2]; Nate Michalak, B.A.


There is no need for medical therapy in most of acute bronchitis patients; reassurance and symptomatic therapy are usually sufficient. Antibiotics should not be prescribed routinely for patients with acute bronchitis[1][2][3][4][5]

Medical Therapy

Majority of patients may benefit from NSAIDs, such as aspirin or acetaminophen, to relieve constitutional symptoms and albuterol if the cough is disruptive.[3]


Antibiotics SHOULD NOT be prescribed unless there is strong evidence of bacterial infection, especially in comorbid conditions, such as chronic heart or lung diseases and immunocompromised or neuromuscular diseases.[1][2][3][4][5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Little P, Rumsby K, Kelly J, Watson L, Moore M, Warner G, Fahey T, Williamson I (2005). "Information leaflet and antibiotic prescribing strategies for acute lower respiratory tract infection: a randomized controlled trial". JAMA. 293 (24): 3029–35. doi:10.1001/jama.293.24.3029. PMID 15972565.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Smith SM, Fahey T, Smucny J, Becker LA (2014). "Antibiotics for acute bronchitis". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (3): CD000245. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000245.pub3. PMID 24585130.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Braman SS (2006). "Chronic cough due to acute bronchitis: ACCP evidence-based clinical practice guidelines". Chest. 129 (1 Suppl): 95S–103S. doi:10.1378/chest.129.1_suppl.95S. PMID 16428698.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wenzel RP, Fowler AA (2006). "Clinical practice. Acute bronchitis". N. Engl. J. Med. 355 (20): 2125–30. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp061493. PMID 17108344.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Wong DM, Blumberg DA, Lowe LG (2006). "Guidelines for the use of antibiotics in acute upper respiratory tract infections". Am Fam Physician. 74 (6): 956–66. PMID 17002029.

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