What are the Different Kinds of MRSA Treatments?

Ken Black
Ken Black
Antibiotics can be used in the treatment of MRSA.
Antibiotics can be used in the treatment of MRSA.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) treatments often include the use of antibiotics, but depending on the situation, medication may not be necessary. Only a doctor can tell for sure whether an individual has MRSA, and decide which MRSA treatments are appropriate. The condition can be lead to more serious complications if not treated promptly.

When MRSA is limited to the skin, a doctor may drain the infected area and then send the patient home with topical antibiotics to further treat the infection.
When MRSA is limited to the skin, a doctor may drain the infected area and then send the patient home with topical antibiotics to further treat the infection.

MRSA is a bacterial infection that affects the skin, often leading to open wounds or painful boils that can be highly contagious. The most common of MRSA treatments involve using one of several types of antibiotics. MRSA, like its name suggests, is already resistant to certain types of antibiotics, and some strains are developing further resistance. To combat that situation, drugs such as trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, or clindamycin, often constitute the first options. Other drugs may be tried in the event that these do not work. These drugs are often administered by injection or intravenously, at least initially.

In some cases, where a MRSA infection may limited just to the surface of the skin, a doctor may prescribe a MRSA treatment that does not involve antibiotics. Rather, the doctor may choose to drain any infectious liquid, or pus, from the area by making an incision. This area will likely need to be cleaned at home with topical antibiotics until it heals completely to prevent the infection from coming back or spreading to others.

Where MRSA treatments are not effective, or where individuals have recurring bouts of the disease, hospitalization may be necessary for an extended period of time. Often, those with more severe cases of MRSA can spend a week or more in the hospital as antibiotics are applied intravenously. Initial MRSA treatments can help individuals avoid a lengthy hospital stay, but early intervention is the key. Once the bacteria have become established, the condition is harder to control.

In some cases, the infection has grown so deep that a more extensive surgical procedure may be required to take care of it. This could involve even putting the patient under a general anesthetic. Once the surface infection is removed, some antibiotic treatment may still be required after the surgery. Surgical treatment is usually considered a minor procedure that may be completed on an outpatient basis, but could also be part of a more extensive hospital stay.

MRSA treatments will require some follow-up care from a physician to make sure the infection is responding as expected. If not, the doctor may need to change the medication. Often, finding the right treatment option is a matter of trial and error.

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    • Antibiotics can be used in the treatment of MRSA.
      Antibiotics can be used in the treatment of MRSA.
    • When MRSA is limited to the skin, a doctor may drain the infected area and then send the patient home with topical antibiotics to further treat the infection.
      When MRSA is limited to the skin, a doctor may drain the infected area and then send the patient home with topical antibiotics to further treat the infection.