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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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How can aspiration pneumonia be treated?

My father has multiple episodes of aspiration pneumonia . He has dysphagia and I manage it is well as I can. I am a speech pathologist. Each time he has an episode he is given a 7-Day course of Levaquin. Although he has not been diagnosed with c.diff he has definitely had intestinal changes which I try to manage with florastor and culturelle. My father already has a baseline history of peripheral neuropathy and I just feel it has gotten worse from the constant use of the Levaquin. This in combination with the changes in his bowel habits and loose stools causes me to question if there is any other antibiotic other than Levaquin that can be used for aspiration pneumonia. It seems that this is the first line of defense and it is absolutely effective but it is coming at a long-term cost as well. Does the benefit of the Levaquin outweigh the risk? I also don t understand why an NIH study showed that Levaquin had a minimal long-term impact on intestinal microflora and yet one of its side effects is c-diff . How do you reconcile that?
Thu, 21 Jun 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

All drugs have its side effects, however when it comes to treating asp pneumonia, the benefit of the drug would surely outweigh its risks because not treating pneumonia may be very dangerous. So, yes, if its working its worth use. Other antibitoics may also work like Metronidazole plus Penicillin and most of the antibiotics would work but all have side effects. The best thing would be to avoid recurrence of asp pneumonia by either NG tube, or more better is PEG tube. Levoxin like any other antibiotics can cause C.diff but it has been very rarely associated with it that's what the study probably meant that its may cause but less then other antibiotics. Neuropathy is not common with levo. Also important is not all stool motions are C.diff, that rare and a bit serious, diarrhea occurs with drugs much more commonly without C diff. So to summarize it, it's not good to use it but if it cures asp pneumonia it's definitely worth use.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
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How can aspiration pneumonia be treated?

Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. I have reviewed your query and here is my advice. All drugs have its side effects, however when it comes to treating asp pneumonia, the benefit of the drug would surely outweigh its risks because not treating pneumonia may be very dangerous. So, yes, if its working its worth use. Other antibitoics may also work like Metronidazole plus Penicillin and most of the antibiotics would work but all have side effects. The best thing would be to avoid recurrence of asp pneumonia by either NG tube, or more better is PEG tube. Levoxin like any other antibiotics can cause C.diff but it has been very rarely associated with it that s what the study probably meant that its may cause but less then other antibiotics. Neuropathy is not common with levo. Also important is not all stool motions are C.diff, that rare and a bit serious, diarrhea occurs with drugs much more commonly without C diff. So to summarize it, it s not good to use it but if it cures asp pneumonia it s definitely worth use. Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.