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What Is the Treatment for a Staph Infection?
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There are two main types of treatment for staph infections, surgical and antibiotic treatment. In most patients who require surgical treatment, antibiotic treatment is also required. Incision and drainage of pus is the main surgical treatment; however, surgical removal of sources of infection (for example, intravenous lines, artificial grafts, heart valves, or pacemakers) may be required. Other sites of infection, such as joint infections (especially in children), osteomyelitis, or postoperative abscesses, may require surgery. Any tissue site that continues to harbor the bacteria may require surgical intervention and placement of a surgical drain.
There are many antibiotics (for example, nafcillin [Nallpen, Unipen], cefazolin [Ancef, Kefzol], dicloxacillin [Dycill, Dynapen], clindamycin [Cleocin T, Clindagel, ClindaMax, ClindaReach Pledget, Evoclin], or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole [Bactrim, Bactrim DS, Septra, Septra DS, SMZ-TMP DS, Sulfatrim Pediatric], doxycycline [Oracea]) that are effective against staph if the bacteria are shown to be non-MRSA staph. However, MRSA organisms usually require other antibiotics; minor skin infections may be treated topically with Bacitracin (Baciguent) or mupirocin (Bactroban), but serious MRSA infections are usually treated with two or more antibiotics (for example, vancomycin [Vancocin HCl Pulvules], linezolid [Zyvox], rifampin [Rifadin], sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim, and others). In addition, there are other types of multiple drug-resistant staph, such as VRSA (vancomycin-resistant staph, for example).
What Specialists Treat Staph Infections?
Although many simple staph infections can be treated by a person's primary-care provider (including internal medicine and family medicine specialists) or pediatrician, more complicated infections are usually treated by emergency-medicine physicians, infectious-disease consultants and, if the patient is hospitalized, critical-care and/or lung specialists. In addition, a surgeon may need to be involved if an extremity or a deep-tissue infection needs to have infected or dead or dying tissue removed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/13/2016
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