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Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is an infection of the lungs caused by a fungus called pneumocystis. People with healthy immune systems don't usually get infected with PCP. It becomes a problem only when you have a weak immune system that allows the fungus to cause infection. Your immune system can be weakened by such things as cancer, HIV or AIDS, or from the medicines you take after having a bone marrow or organ transplant.
Having PCP can make it hard for you to breathe and get enough oxygen into your blood. The infection can be serious, but many people can be treated at home with antibiotics.
You may also need oxygen therapy, which helps get more oxygen into your lungs and bloodstream.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: October 26, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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