Antibiotics for cough without fever in an adult

Antibiotics for coughs are indicated only if a bacterial infection is suspected. With a viral or fungal process, medications will be useless and even harmful. An antimicrobial drug should be prescribed by a doctor after receiving a response to the sensitivity of the flora that caused inflammation of the respiratory tract. In practice, treatment is prescribed on the basis of clinical protocols for the treatment of respiratory infections. The use of antibiotics for cough in adults has strict indications and features, non-compliance with which can lead to disastrous consequences.

How to choose antibiotics for coughs in adults - recommendations and warnings

Self-prescribing a cough antibiotic is strongly discouraged.

This is due to the fact that a person without medical education does not have the following information:

  • Is antibacterial medicine necessary for this type of cough?
  • Which drug to prescribe in each specific case;
  • How to correctly evaluate the effectiveness of treatment;
  • What analogue can replace an ineffective antibiotic.

cough antibiotic

The main problem is the lack of treatment control, discontinuation of the medication at the first symptoms of improvement. This can cause the development of a chronic infectious process of the respiratory tract, the formation of resistance in pathogenic bacteria to the simplest and safest antibiotics. The resistant flora is subsequently not so easy to neutralize even with stronger antibiotics, which leads to constant exacerbations of the disease.

We also have an article on antibiotics for coughs in children, which may come in handy!

But if there is no alternative and you need to carry out treatment yourself, you need to adhere to clear rules for prescribing medications and taking them.

Treatment of cough with antibiotics depends on the symptoms that accompany the disease.

Main characteristics of a bacterial respiratory tract infection:

  • Acute development;
  • Increased fatigue, malaise;
  • Productive cough, that is, with sputum production;
  • Green or yellow sputum;
  • Increased body temperature to 38 °C;
  • The presence of wheezing when breathing.

It is necessary to choose a medicine based on clinical recommendations for the treatment of infectious diseases of the respiratory system. The use of antimicrobial agents depends on the severity of the process.

Why should a doctor prescribe antimicrobial drugs?

To find out which antibiotic is best for a cough, it is necessary to determine the causative agent of the infection. Some pathogenic bacteria are resistant to the action of penicillin antimicrobial agents. Therefore, doctors prescribe tablets to patients only after receiving the results of bacterial culture of a throat smear or sputum.

Treatment of cough with antibiotics will be effective only in the case of bacterial infection of the respiratory system. It is strictly forbidden to use drugs for colds, flu, parainfluenza and other viral diseases. They reduce overall immunity, which creates conditions for the proliferation of pathogenic microbes.


If the disease is viral or allergic in origin, then antitussive antibiotics do not help. They only fight infections.

Types of antibiotics

The most effective groups of antibiotics for coughs caused by bacterial infections:

  1. Penicillins;
  2. Macrolides;
  3. Cephalosporins II-III generation;
  4. Respiratory fluoroquinolones of III-IV generation.

Video: antibiotics for coughs, what is it? The drugs are presented in various forms of the medicinal substance:

  • Tablets are better for home treatment;
  • Powders for preparing a solution for intramuscular administration.

Important! Antibacterial agents when administered intramuscularly and intravenously can cause allergic reactions, for example, laryngeal edema, so a sensitivity test must be performed before using them.

For what diseases is antibiotic treatment prescribed?

Not all pathologies of the respiratory system require antibiotics. Cough can be caused by many reasons. Two pathologies require the prescription of antimicrobial agents:

  • Acute bronchitis or exacerbation of chronic;
  • Pneumonia or pneumonia.

Important! According to the recommendations of the American College of Physicians, more than 80% of cases of bronchitis are caused by viruses, so prescribing antibiotics is inappropriate.

If signs of bronchitis appear - a wet cough with mucus discharge, the use of expectorants that will help remove sputum, antipyretic drugs as indicated, inhalations and warming of the chest is indicated. If within 3 days there is no effect of treatment or there are negative dynamics in the form of an increase in temperature, the appearance of pus in the sputum, then you need to start taking antibiotics. At the same time, other medications and physical procedures are not canceled.

folk antibiotic

A cough can be a symptom of pneumonia, the clinical picture of which is as follows:

  • Malaise, increased fatigue;
  • Temperature rises to 39 °C;
  • Heaviness, pain in the chest, under the shoulder blades;
  • Shortness of breath that was not there before;
  • Increased breathing;
  • Cough with purulent sputum.

The diagnosis of pneumonia is made only on the basis of a chest x-ray. It also makes sense to take a clinical blood test, which will reveal an increase in leukocytes.

Uncomplicated pneumonia can be treated at home, but the general condition must be monitored. Adults are prescribed complex treatment - one antibiotic and cough expectorants.

Which drug is better to choose

All patients receiving antimicrobial agents at home can be divided into two groups. The prescription of different types of drugs depends on belonging to one of the groups.

Amoxicillin or Azithromycin

Group 1 - patients who do not have serious pulmonary or other concomitant pathologies and have not taken antibiotics for more than two days for 3 months. The drug of choice is a representative of the penicillins – Amoxicillin or Azithromycin. In case of ineffectiveness or individual intolerance to these drugs, treatment is carried out with fluoroquinolones of the III-IV generation.

Group 2 – patients with concomitant pathology of the respiratory system, immunodeficiencies, diabetes mellitus. Also those who took an antibiotic for more than two days within 3 months. Treatment is carried out with Amoxiclav or Cefuroxime. In case of drug intolerance, macrolides or fluoroquinolones of the III-IV generation are prescribed. As a last resort, Ceftriaxone injections are indicated.

To choose which antibiotic is best to prescribe for an adult’s cough, you need to determine the group to which the patient belongs. It should be borne in mind that some drugs, for example, Azithromycin, are taken 1 tablet per day for 3 days in a row. But such short-term treatment will be ineffective for severe bronchitis or pneumonia.

When choosing Ceftriaxone for therapy, you need to remember that intramuscular injections must be given by a trained person after testing for allergic predisposition. If the technique for preparing a solution for injection or giving an injection is violated, post-injection infiltrates and abscesses can form.

Rules for taking antibiotics for coughs

When prescribing antibiotics for cough, adults must follow strict recommendations:

  1. Drink the medication strictly at the same time after the prescribed number of hours. For example, Amoxicillin is indicated to be taken every 8 hours, that is, 3 times a day. This means that the reception hours are 6 am, 2 pm and 10 pm. Strict time intervals are necessary to maintain a constant concentration of the active substance in the blood.
  2. There are no strict rules on how to take pills before or after meals. Individual recommendations for each drug are written in the instructions. You need to take the tablet with clean water.
  3. The course of treatment lasts on average 7-10 days. For pneumonia, the end of therapy usually corresponds to the third day after the temperature drops.
  4. The effectiveness of the action should be assessed 2 days after the start of treatment. If there is no effect or shortness of breath, chest pain, or increased breathing rate increase, you need to change tactics. It is best to continue therapy with a doctor.
  5. If you have severe kidney or liver pathology, you should consult a doctor, as it is necessary to select an individual dosage of the medication.
  6. If side effects develop, the drug should be replaced.
  7. After a course of antibiotic therapy, you need to take probiotics - drugs that normalize the intestinal microflora. This is necessary because during therapy, beneficial bacteria involved in digestion die, and diarrhea or constipation may occur. Bifiform and Linex populate the intestines with new microflora.

What antibiotics will help with a dry cough?

Today, pharmacies offer over 300 types of antibacterial drugs with different spectrums of action. We are talking about those medications that are intended for adults. Which of them help cope with a debilitating dry cough? Let us note the most frequently prescribed medications with proven effectiveness.

  • "Sumamed" successfully fights pathogenic microorganisms. It is acceptable to take for infectious diseases caused by pathogens sensitive to this medicine. Typically, this drug is used to treat bronchitis, scarlet fever, otitis media, tonsillitis and sinusitis. It is very convenient that you only need to take it once a day. It is recommended to do this an hour before a meal or a couple of hours after it. An overdose is signaled by diarrhea, nausea and vomiting (not necessarily at the same time). "Sumamed" is contraindicated if there are any problems with the liver or kidneys.
  • "Azitrox" is a broad-spectrum antibacterial drug. It is prescribed for the treatment of infectious respiratory diseases accompanied by a dry cough - bronchitis, pneumonia, tonsillitis. This medication should be taken once a day - an hour before or 2 hours after a meal. The duration of treatment with Azitrox for an adult is a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 5 days. The medicine is contraindicated in case of individual intolerance to any of its components, liver failure, as well as in pregnant women and women while breastfeeding.
  • Macropen is a macrolide antibiotic. It can also be taken for a bacterial infection affecting the respiratory tract and causing a dry cough. The adult dosage of the drug is 3 tablets per day (you should take one at a time, not all at once). You will have to be treated with Macropen for 7 to 12 days. Contraindicated for those who suffer from renal failure.
  • "Grammidin" is an antibacterial drug that is good for treating bacterial pharyngitis and tonsillitis. Eliminates cough caused by these diseases. This medication should be taken only after meals. Adult dosage – 2 tablets 4 times a day. One tablet must be placed in the mouth and wait until it is completely dissolved. After half an hour, do the same with the second one. After each intake of Grammidin, it is unacceptable to eat or drink anything for an hour, or better yet, two. A contraindication is only an allergy if it occurs in the form of a specific reaction to some component of the drug.
  • "Fromilid." This antibiotic successfully treats infectious diseases of the upper and lower respiratory tract - bronchitis, sinusitis, atypical pneumonia. An adult needs to take 250 mg twice a day. The main thing is to maintain a 12-hour interval between doses. The course of treatment is no more than 7 days. This drug should not be used if there is any disorder in the functioning of the liver.

On average, the duration of antibiotic treatment should not exceed 10 days. If the condition has not improved during this time, you should consult your doctor about changing the medication.

Antibiotics for coughs in adults: a list of the best with and without fever, in tablets, inexpensive and without a prescription

Antibiotics for a severe cough are taken to eliminate bacteria from the bronchi that accumulate in the sputum; in this case, Macrolen or Suprax are recommended.

Antibiotics for dry cough:

  1. Amoxiclav - available in tablets and suspensions. Taken for pneumonia, accompanied by a dry, unproductive cough. Side effects may include nausea, vomiting, allergic rash and headache.
  2. Augmentin - indicated for acute bronchitis with a painful cough, effective for the treatment of pneumonia, acute bronchitis and lung abscess. It has side effects such as diarrhea and jaundice.
  3. Flemoxin - used for dry cough of bacterial etiology, side effects - itching in the anus, diarrhea.

To treat cough, antibiotics are recommended, which are active against many bacteria; this is associated with sputum analysis, which lasts at least a week.

List of the best antibacterial agents for coughs:

  1. Sumamed is an effective antibacterial agent, used for wet and dry coughs, and is active against many bacteria. The suspension is prescribed to children with a prolonged cough and pneumonia. It is taken once a day, the course of treatment is a week. It has contraindications: liver pathologies, kidney failure, diseases of the digestive system.
  2. Amoxiclav - used for diseases of the upper respiratory tract, has an immediate effect, taken in tablets twice a day. Contraindicated for peptic ulcers, exacerbation of gastritis, heart and kidney diseases.
  3. Erythromycin is one of the most popular antibiotics, active against staphylococcus and pneumococcus. Prescribed for pneumonia and bacterial bronchitis, it rarely produces side effects.
  4. Amoxicillin is an effective antibiotic, inexpensive, accessible to all segments of the population, and treats cough well with bronchitis of bacterial origin. Not for use by patients with ulcers and gastritis.
  5. Z-factor is a powerful drug, the course of treatment is only 3 days, 1 tablet, treats bronchitis, tracheitis, tonsillitis. Not recommended for patients with kidneys, liver and stomach.

When it comes to antibiotics, self-medication is strictly recommended.

is prohibited, the choice of medicine must be left to the doctor. For colds and respiratory diseases, antibacterial drugs are not taken immediately; they are prescribed only for certain indicators.

Choosing an antibiotic - list of the most popular

The list of antibiotics for coughs in adults contains the following drugs:

  1. Penicillins include Amoxicillin, protected penicillins – Amoxicillin and Clavulanic acid.
  2. Macrolides are represented by Azithromycin, Clarithromycin.
  3. Cephalosporins of the II-III generation - Cefuroskim, Cefaclor, Cefotaxime, Ceftriaxone.
  4. Respiratory fluoroquinolones of the III-IV generation - Levofloxacin, Gatifloxacin.

Cefaclor or Clarithromycin

Treatment of cough with antibiotics is carried out according to a stepwise principle. First, the easiest drugs in tablets are prescribed; if they do not help, then more modern and effective ones are used. This is necessary to prevent resistance of pathogenic flora to antimicrobial agents.

During therapy, the manifestations of infection may change, but this does not mean that the drugs are ineffective. For example, dry and wet cough can be symptoms of the same disease, only at different stages of treatment. At the beginning of bronchitis, the patient is bothered by a wet cough, but with sputum that is difficult to separate. Then the mucus begins to recede. Purulent sputum is replaced by mucous. At the end of the disease, a dry cough appears as a residual phenomenon of inflammation.

Antibiotics for wet cough

For acute infection accompanied by cough, adults need to take the antibiotic Amoxicillin. It is prescribed 500 mg orally every 8 hours. Clavulanic acid-protected Amoxicillin is prescribed 1 gram twice a day.

Azithromycin may be an alternative. You need to take 500 mg tablets once a day at 24-hour intervals for 3 days.

Levofloxacin 500 mg 2 times a day is also used for therapy after 12 or 24 hours. The interval is prescribed depending on the patient’s condition.

Antibiotics for dry cough

A dry cough in itself does not require antibiotics. If, during treatment with an antibiotic, a wet cough turns into a dry one, then you must continue to use the same drug.

If a dry cough persists after finishing antibiotic therapy, you should sign up for physical therapy to restore normal functioning of the respiratory system. This is especially important after suffering from pneumonia.

Antibiotics for severe cough

Chronic cough requires treatment with strong drugs. Amoxicillin and clavulanic acid are prescribed. If there are contraindications, then taking Cefuroxime 500 mg twice a day every 12 hours is indicated. In case of ineffectiveness, Clarithromycin tablets 500 mg twice a day. Gatifloxacin 400 mg once a day.

Injectable antibiotic for severe cough - Ceftriaxone. Injections of 1 gram 2 times a day intramuscularly.

Side effects

Each group of cough medications has its own undesirable consequences, but some are similar:

  1. Allergic reactions: urticaria, laryngeal edema, anaphylactic shock;
  2. Heartburn, nausea, vomiting;
  3. Dysbacteriosis: diarrhea, constipation, flatulence;
  4. Thrush;
  5. Hemolytic anemia.

Important! You should start taking antibiotics for a cough only after becoming familiar with the side effects, so that if they develop, you can take action or replace the drug.

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