A doctor will use a microscope to examine for fungal evidence in your lungs’ fluid or tissue. Your doctor will assist you in coughing up fluid. A bronchoscope is a specific gadget that passes into your mouth and airways to obtain a sample. They might also do a biopsy, which involves extracting a small number of cells from your lung using a needle or a knife.
Additionally, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test duplicates particular bits of DNA to detect lower levels of the fungus in samples.
Furthermore, your doctor may order a blood test or chest x-ray to look for low oxygen levels or high amounts of something called beta-D-glucan.
Pneumocystis pneumonia is often treated with two antibiotics, TMP/SMX, trimethoprim, and sulfamethoxazole (Septra, Cotrim, Bactrim). Depending on your condition, you will get them as tablets to swallow or a needle inserted into your vein (through IV) at the clinic or hospital.
Other anti-infection medications include:
- Clindamycin (Cleocin) in combination with primaquine
- Pentamidine (Pentam, NebuPent) be inhaled using a piece of nebulizer equipment (If your infection is severe, you may be given a shot)
- Atovaquone (Mepron) in a liquid to be taken with meals
- Dapsone with or without trimethoprim (Primsol)
When your oxygen levels are low, corticosteroids may also assist in some instances.