Antibiotics, such as tetracyclines or penicillins, treat bacterial infections only; they do not help viral pneumonia. A doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs, such as Tamiflu, Relenza or Rapivab, to treat viral pneumonia, according to WebMD.
Other treatments for viral pneumonia generally involve relieving symptoms, such as taking an over-the-counter fever-reducing medication, drinking fluids and getting plenty of rest. Mild cases of viral pneumonia generally improve within one to three weeks, states MedlinePlus. A bacterial infection may sometimes follow viral pneumonia, which may cause serious complications that require further treatment, according to WebMD. In the United States, about 30 percent of pneumonia cases are viral, as of 2015.