Pneumonia Treatment Online

If you have breathing problems that may suggest pneumonia, consult with one of our board-certified primary care doctors for an evaluation and guidance as to the best treatment plan*. Get a new prescription to treat pneumonia if you qualify. Our doctors can also refer you to a specialist for further treatment if needed.*

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Early treatment is crucial to prevent spread

Over-the-counter or prescription meds for milder cases

Same-day appointments to evaluate Pneumonia symptoms

* If you are experiencing severe breathing problems or other life-threatening symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately by calling 911 and going to your nearest emergency room. Prescriptions are provided at the doctor's discretion. Learn more about our controlled substances policy and how to save up to 80% with our prescription discount card. PlushCare doctors cannot treat all cases of pneumonia or other breathing complications. Our primary care physicians can conduct an initial evaluation of your symptoms but may need to refer you to a specialist or for in-person treatment.

Learn about pneumonia

According to the American Lung Association, pneumonia is a lung infection that affects one or both lungs. The infection causes the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs to inflame and fill up with fluid or pus. The infections can be caused by bacteria, a virus, or fungi. Further, the American Lung Association points to pneumonia as the leading cause of hospitalization in both children and adults.

Pneumonia causes

  • According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, bacteria, virus, and fungi can bring about the infections that cause the lung air sacs to inflame and fill up with fluid. The most common cause of bacterial infection is the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is spread through contact with respiratory secretions such as saliva or mucus. However, other sources of bacterial infections are: Haemophilus influenzae and Staphylococcus aureus.

    In addition, viruses such as influenza and RSV are common causes of pneumonia, particularly in young children. Fungal pneumonia is more rare and occurs typically in people with weakened immune systems. Three types of fungi that typically cause pneumonia in the United States are: coccidiodomycosis, histoplasmosis and cryptococcus. Pneumonia can also be caused by inhaling irritants such as smoke or dust particles. 

Symptoms of pneumonia

  • As described by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, pneumonia symptoms can include the following:

    • Coughing

    • Shortness of breath

    • Chest pain

    • Rapid breathing

    • Sweating

    • Fever

    • Low oxygen levels

How to treat pneumonia

Early diagnosis is essential to prevent the spread of pneumonia and to reduce the risk of complications. If you or your child has pneumonia due to a bacterial infection, you will likely be treated with antibiotics. The specific type and duration of antibiotic therapy will vary depending on the severity of the illness and your risk factors. In most cases with milder symptoms, over-the-counter or prescription medicines will be given and patients typically can recover from home.

For severe forms of pneumonia, hospital treatment may be necessary, so that the patients can get antibiotics and fluids into their bodies intravenously (IV). Patients may also be given oxygen therapy or put on a breathing machine/ventilator.

Our board-certified primary care doctors at Plushcare can help evaluate your symptoms to assess the likelihood of pneumonia versus other causes. It’s important to remember, however, that a lung exam with a stethoscope in-person is often a critical tool to help the diagnosis. Therefore, our doctors may refer & guide you to in-person care should a clear diagnosis not be available. Ultimately, your health & safety is our priority.

Pneumonia medications

  • The most common type of pneumonia is bacterial pneumonia caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics work by killing the pneumonia bacteria that cause the infection. Some common antibiotics used to treat bacterial pneumonia include penicillin, amoxicillin, and erythromycin. In some cases, a stronger antibiotic, such as vancomycin or ciprofloxacin, may be necessary.

    For pneumonia due to viral infections, there is no specific pneumonia medication that will cure the infection. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and supporting the respiratory system. Medications used to treat viral pneumonia include antiviral drugs, corticosteroids, cough medicine, and medicines to relieve pain.

How to prevent pneumonia

Avoid smoking, secondhand smoke, getting vaccinated are some of the best ways ro prevent pneumonia. Importantly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting vaccinated against bacteria and viruses that cause infections such as influenza, measles, COVID-19, whooping cough, etc., can significantly reduce your risk for pneumonia. 

In addition to flu vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) endorses three pneumonia vaccines available in the United States that help prevent pneumococcal disease. These are pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCV), meaning they’re inactive forms and pieces of the virus to help our bodies identify the actual virus should it enter our system later. The current options are the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13, 15, and 20) and the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPSV23).  

PCV15 or PCV20  are recommended for all children under the age of two, as a 3-dose series every 2 months followed by a booster at least 8 weeks after the last dose in the series. PCV13 has been replaced by PCV15 or, even more preferred, PCV20, as both of those offer better protection than PCV13. If your child has started the series with PCV13, they can complete the course with PCV15 or 20 without having to restart.  

Catch-up vaccines between ages 2 to  <6 if your child’s previous vaccines were incomplete or never received should be two doses of PCV15 or PCV20, at least 8 weeks apart. 

If a child has immune compromising or other high risk conditions and never received PCV20 as part of their series, it’s strongly recommended by the CDC that they receive a of PCV20 before the age of 6 (in addition to their series and booster). This is because PCV20 offers the most protection.   

If a child between ages 6 and 18 has not had a complete vaccines series and needs to catch up, or has never had the vaccine, it’s recommended they get one dose of PCV20.  

The CDC also recommends PCV20, or PCV15 followed by PPSV23 1 year later, for adults ages 19 - 64 with certain high-risk medical conditions, including diabetes and cigarette smoking, and for every adult over the age of 65. Certain very high-risk cases may differ, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about your medical history in order to be the most protected you can from pneumonia 

You can also help prevent pneumonia by practicing good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, and washing your hands frequently. If you are sick, it's better if you stay home from work or school to avoid infecting others and wearing a mask while in public places. By taking these simple precautions, you can help protect yourself and others from this serious disease. 

When to see a doctor for pneumonia

Pneumonia is a serious lung disease that can be deadly. If you experience any of the symptoms, it's important to see a doctor right away. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for recovery. In some cases, pneumonia can be treated at home with oral antibiotics, rest and fluids. However, more severe cases may require hospitalization and treatment with IV antibiotics. If you think you may have pneumonia, don't delay in seeking medical care. 

Pneumonia treatment FAQs

  • What are the symptoms of pneumonia?

    Symptoms of pneumonia range in severity, but if you are experiencing 2 or more of the following symptoms, contact your doctor for an official diagnosis immediately: a high fever up to 105 degrees, a deep cough that brings up greenish, yellow, or bloody mucus (may get worse at night), chills/shaking, a consistent feeling of being out of breath, often brought on by movement, feeling exhausted, no appetite, sharp chest pain that often occurs when taking deep breaths and/coughing, and fast, shallow breathing.

  • What are the four types of pneumonia?

    The four main types of pneumonia are: bacterial, viral, mycoplasma, and other. Bacterial and viral pneumonia are the most common, mycoplasma pneumonia (also called walking pneumonia) is less severe, and other pneumonia (including fungal pneumonia) is the rarest. 

  • Is bacterial pneumonia contagious?

    Bacterial pneumonia is caused by bacteria, typically Streptococcus pneumococcus. Depending on which bacteria are causing it, bacterial pneumonia can be contagious. The bacteria are spread by coughs, sneezes, and handling contaminated objects.

  • Is viral pneumonia contagious?

    Viral pneumonia is contagious and can spread from person to person. A virus similar to the common cold and the flu causes viral pneumonia.

  • How long does pneumonia last and what are the stages of pneuomnia?

    Here is a rough outline of what to expect for typical cases of pneumonia in otherwise healthy individuals with proper treatment:

    • 1 week—fever subsides

    • 4 weeks—mucus production down and chest relief

    • 6 weeks—reduced coughing and improved breathing

    • 3 months—symptoms should be gone, although fatigue may linger

    • 6 months—full recovery

    Remember, recovery varies drastically depending on who is infected and the type of pneumonia, the timeframes above do not apply to all cases and will change from person to person.

  • Does pneumonia go away on its own?

    Uncomplicated viral pneumonia in otherwise healthy individuals may go away on its own. Bacterial pneumonia, however, will require antibiotic medications. It’s critical to get your pneumonia diagnosed by a doctor so that you are able to get properly treated. If left untreated, pneumonia can be deadly with 50,000 people in the United States dying from pneumonia each year.

  • How do you know if you have pneumonia or a cold?

    Pneumonia is a lung infection that is often described as a terrible cold or cough with shortness of breath. Pneumonia symptoms are similar to that of a cold but are typically worse, causing pain and shortness of breath. If you are having trouble breathing, call your doctor for an official diagnosis. If your symptoms feel severe, call 911 or go to the ER right away.

  • Can I get pneumonia treatment online?

    Yes, you may be able to get pneumonia treatment online. For uncomplicated cases of pneumonia, an online doctor may be able to diagnose and treat your condition. Online doctors can recommend and prescribe treatments for symptom management as well as medications to fight off your infection. If your case isn’t safe for online treatment, they will guide you toward the best next steps for seeking in-person care.

    Speak with one of our doctors during a telemedicine visit to determine what medications or treatment options could be appropriate for you.

3 simple steps to get treated for pneumonia today

Step 1: Book an appointment

Step 1

Book a pneumonia treatment appointment.

Book a same day appointment from anywhere.

Step 2: Visit with a doctor on your smartphone

Step 2

Talk to your medical provider regarding your pneumonia symptoms.

Visit with a doctor on your smartphone or computer.

Step 3: pick up at local pharmacy

Step 3

Pick up a prescription for pneumonia, if prescribed by your doctor.

We can send prescriptions to any local pharmacy.

Related conditions to pneumonia

  • Some conditions and illnesses can lead to the development of pneumonia due to weakened immune system, which can include:

    Possible complications related to pneumonia include:

    • Lung abscesses

    • Acute respiratory distress syndrome

    • Respiratory failure

Pneumonia treatment pricing details

How pricing works

To request pneumonia treatment and get a new prescription or refill on your prescription, join our monthly membership and get discounted visits.

Paying with insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price with insurance

Often the same as an office visit. Most patients with in-network insurance pay $30 or less!

  • We accept these insurance plans and many more:

    • Humana
    • Aetna
    • Cigna

Paying without insurance



First month free



30 days of free membership

  • Same-day appointments 7 days a week

  • Unlimited messages with your Care Team

  • Prescription discount card to save up to 80%

  • Exclusive discounts on lab tests

  • Free memberships for your family

  • Cancel anytime

Visit price without insurance

Initial visits are $129.

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If we're unable to treat you, we'll provide a full refund.


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PlushCare content is reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, nutritionists, and other healthcare professionals. Learn more about our editorial standards and meet the medical team. The PlushCare site or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.