Community Acquired Pneumonia Treatment in the Community (Adults)

Comments from the Expert Advisory Committee

  • Community acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a pneumonia that is acquired outside hospital.
  • CAP in the community can been defined as:
    • Symptoms of an acute lower respiratory tract illness (cough and at least one other lower respiratory tract symptom)
    • New focal chest signs on examination
    • At least one systemic feature (either a symptom complex of sweating, fevers, shivers, aches and pains and/or temperature of 380C or more)
  • Start antibiotics immediately
  • Review if symptoms are not improving as expected with antibiotics and escalate therapy, or consider hospital referral.
  • Assess severity using the CRB-65 score.

Screenshot 2021-10-08 102909

  • The need for hospital referral should be assessed, and at review, re-assessed using the CRB65 criteria.
  • At convalescence, ensure COVID-19, influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations up to date.

Treatment Table - Community Acquired Pneumonia

Screenshot 2021-10-08 103344

* Alternative doxycycline dose: 100mg every 12 hours. 
In non-severe infection, 200mg stat then 100mg every 24 hours can be considered.

  • Pleuritic pain should be relieved using simple analgesia, and consider pulmonary embolism.
  • Consider advising patients on hydration and smoking cessation where appropriate.
  • Consider time off work for patients with CAP dependent on clinical assessment.
  • Advise to consult pharmacist for symptom relief.

Patient Information

Safe Prescribing (visit the safe prescribing page)

Reviewed October 2021