Pneumonia occurring as a secondary infection after influenza is a major cause of excess morbidity and mortality, despite the availability and use of antibiotics active against Streptococcus pneumoniae. We hypothesized that the use of a bacteriostatic protein synthesis inhibitor would improve outcomes by reducing the inflammatory response. BALB/cJ mice infected with influenza virus and superinfected with S. pneumoniae were treated with either the cell-wall-active antibiotic ampicillin or the protein synthesis inhibitor clindamycin or azithromycin. In the model, ampicillin therapy performed significantly worse (survival rate, 56%) than (1) clindamycin therapy used either alone (82%) or in combination with ampicillin (80%) and (2) azithromycin (92%). Improved survival appeared to be mediated by decreased inflammation manifested as lower levels of inflammatory cells and proinflammatory cytokines in the lungs and by observation of less-severe histopathologic findings. These data suggest that beta-lactam therapy may not be optimal as a first-line treatment for community-acquired pneumonia when it follows influenza.