The use of antibiotics for bronchial asthma for the treatment of adults and children

Bronchial asthma, although associated with an inflammatory process in the tissues of the bronchi, is not an infectious disease. However, the respiratory tract in people suffering from this pathology is especially vulnerable to external influences.

If a bacterial infection joins the chronic inflammation, asthma worsens. But antibiotics for bronchial asthma are prescribed only when it is really necessary.

About bronchial asthma

Bronchial asthma is a disease that threatens the patient’s life. The disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the bronchi. In this case, there is a decrease in their lumen and a violation of the respiratory function. This disease cannot be completely cured, but correctly selected therapy helps to improve the patient’s condition for a long time.

Drug therapy is required even in remission. The drugs prescribed for asthmatics have many limitations, especially when taken simultaneously with other drugs. Therefore, the appointment of any medication should be agreed with the patient’s attending physician. 

Why are respiratory infections dangerous for asthmatics?

In people suffering from bronchial asthma, all diseases associated with respiratory tract infections are especially difficult. In addition, it is not always possible to accurately determine the causative agent of a particular disease.

It can be Haemophilus influenzae, pneumococci, and even viruses. Very often there is mixed infection, when the disease is caused by bacteria and viruses at the same time.

In this case, due to the effect of microorganisms on the respiratory tract, bronchial asthma worsens. 

The main causes of exacerbation are:

  • violation of recommendations for taking medications;
  • damage to the respiratory system by infection;
  • stressful situation.

Moreover, the appointment of antibiotics is justified only in the second case. In the first and third, they will not have a positive effect on the patient’s condition.

It is important to remember that any infectious disease of the respiratory tract not only adversely affects the general well-being of the patient, but also leads to impaired respiratory function. It can be deadly, so the disease requires immediate treatment.

Indications for prescribing antibiotics for asthma

Asthma is a disease when self-medication is unacceptable, so only a specialist should prescribe medications, including antibiotics.

Antibiotics for bronchial asthma are most often used in the following cases:

  1. Bronchitis. In this disease, due to damage by microorganisms, inflammation of the mucous membrane of large and medium bronchi develops. 
  2. Bronchiolitis . The inflammatory process develops on the mucous membrane of the bronchioles. Most often, children suffer from this disease.
  3. Pneumonia. A severe infectious inflammatory process that affects the lung tissue. Sometimes the membrane of the lung suffers.

The first signs of bacterial infection include the following symptoms:

  • significant increase in body temperature;
  • the amount of sputum increases significantly;
  • when listening to the airways, wheezing is noted.

If there is no improvement in the condition within three days, antibiotic therapy is needed.


The use of antibiotics for the treatment of infectious inflammatory processes in bronchial asthma should be very careful. It is important to make sure that the disease is caused by bacteria. The use of an antibiotic without an indication is strictly prohibited. For this, the doctor prescribes the following tests: 

  • general blood analysis;
  • microbiological examination of sputum;
  • microbiological examination of a throat swab.

These analyzes allow not only to determine the nature of the disease, but also to identify the pathogen.

The second important limiting factor is the duration of the course of treatment: it should not exceed 7 days.

Antibiotics from the penicillin group are prohibited for patients with bronchial asthma, as they can cause severe allergic reactions.

In addition, there are contraindications that apply not only to patients with asthma, but also to other patients:

  • allergic reactions to the components of this medication;
  • pregnancy and lactation (there are certain types of antibiotics allowed during this period);
  • liver or kidney disease.

What antibiotics can asthma have

Only the attending physician has the right to prescribe antibiotics for bronchial asthma in both children and adults . Only a specialist is able to correctly assess the need to use this drug, the balance of risks and benefits of this solution. Also, only a professional can choose the right group of drugs.  

To reduce the risk of side effects and get the maximum effect during treatment, doctors prescribe antibiotics from three groups:

  1. Cephalosporins. These substances are similar in structure to penicillins, but they are much less likely to cause allergic reactions. Also, bacteria do not develop resistance to them as often as to penicillins.
  2. Fluoroquinolones . Effective but may cause allergies. Before starting the reception, you must conduct a test and make sure that it is absent. In addition, many drugs in this group only act on gram-negative bacteria.
  3. Macrolides . Modern drugs that are very popular. They have a good bactericidal effect. They destroy both gram-positive and gram-negative microorganisms. Weakly toxic . There are two types: natural and semi-synthetic. Moreover, semi-synthetic ones are more effective and have a prolonged effect.

Another advantage of these antibiotics is that they come in different forms. The patient can take the pills on his own, this makes them indispensable for treatment at home. For children, a medicine is produced in the form of a suspension.

If quick results are needed, intravenous or intramuscular injections are most effective. In addition, these methods of administration can reduce the effect of the drug on the digestive system and prevent irritation of the gastric mucosa.

It should also be noted that there are topical aerosol antibiotics used for diseases of the upper respiratory tract, such as:

  • rhinitis;
  • pharyngitis;
  • tonsillitis;
  • sinusitis.

In any case, it is permissible to use all medicines only as directed by a doctor!

Side effects of taking antibiotics

Prescribing antibiotics for patients with bronchial asthma requires special care. Immunity weakened by a persistent inflammatory process can react sharply to such treatment. A significant deterioration in the patient’s condition is possible.

The following adverse reactions may occur:

  1. Disorders of the digestive tract: nausea, upset stools, vomiting.
  2. Antibiotics are not able to selectively act on only pathogenic microorganisms in the lungs or bronchi. The balance of human microflora is also disturbed. Therefore, the development of dysbiosis is possible.
  3. Antibiotic treatment can trigger abdominal pain.
  4. Heartburn or flatulence may occur.
  5. It often happens that patients complain of a severe headache.
  6. Disturbances from the nervous system are possible: irritability, sleep problems, depression.

In case of the above symptoms or significant deterioration of the condition, you should immediately consult a doctor. Most likely, another, more suitable drug for this case will be prescribed.

Children’s antibiotics for bronchial asthma

In the 20th century, it was believed that the use of antibiotics by pregnant women and children under three years of age could provoke the development of bronchial asthma. However, Swedish scientists have denied this claim. After the conducted studies, it was found that in children taking an antibiotic, the risk of developing pathology is no more than 28%. 

Antibiotics for childhood asthma are prescribed when the benefits outweigh the risks of side effects. Low-toxic drugs are selected for treatment. Most often, macrolides are prescribed , since they rarely cause allergies. Children’s antibiotics are available in a convenient dosage form – in the form of suspensions, you can also give tablets.


Antibiotic therapy for bronchial asthma is inevitable in case of infection. Weakened by constant inflammation of the respiratory tract, the body is not able to effectively fight against pathogenic bacteria that have got on the mucous membranes.

The inflammatory process becomes more intense, tissue edema increases, which provokes an attack. That is why it is important to start fighting the disease in time.

The choice of antibiotic, its dosage and treatment regimen are in the competence of the attending physician. Only he can correctly choose the most effective drug and minimize side effects.

event_note October 3, 2020

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