Abscesses are common bacterial infections, but they can be hard to treat because there are so many kinds of bacteria that cause them, and even more kinds of antibiotics that have been shown to be effective against these bacteria. Some antibiotics work well on certain kinds of abscesses, while others work better on other kinds, so it’s important to choose the right kind when you start treatment for abscess.
If you have a mild infection and do not have any allergies to penicillin, you can use amoxicillin. Amoxicillin is also very easy to buy without prescription as it is available over-the-counter in many countries. This drug will not only reduce your abscess, but also help you avoid further complications like cellulitis or sepsis. However, if you are allergic to penicillins and/or if your infection is moderate to severe, then do not take amoxicillin.
This antibiotic belongs to a class of drugs called cephalosporins, which are broad-spectrum antibiotics. Cephalexin is typically used for bacterial infections that can cause skin problems or urinary tract infections. Because it targets several different bacteria, cephalexin is a good option for certain types of abscesses that might be caused by a variety of different organisms. However, cephalexin might not be recommended if you have an infection in your blood (sepsis) because it could worsen sepsis and put you at risk for developing septic shock or kidney failure. Certain forms of strep throat may also call for another antibiotic instead.
The generic name for Bactrim is trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Bactrim, in combination with other antibiotics, has been used to treat certain types of bacterial infections. Doctors most commonly prescribe Bactrim for bacterial urinary tract infections, pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections, skin and skin structure infections, bone and joint infections, septicemia (blood infection), and some sexually transmitted diseases. If you are experiencing a severe abscess or cellulitis that does not respond to treatment within 48 hours or isn’t responding at all after several days of receiving an antibiotic like Bactrim consult your doctor right away to see if there is another alternative antibiotic you can take.
If you have mild pain and an unruptured abscess, your doctor may prescribe a medicine called doxycycline. This antibiotic is available in pill form and taken once a day for 10 days. However, there are several reasons why doxycycline should be avoided if possible: it can be hard on your stomach, you need to take it every day for 10 days before you feel relief (but after only three days of treatment, symptoms will improve by 50%), and it has been known to cause permanent yellowing of your teeth. You can talk with your doctor about whether or not taking doxycycline is worth it to you.
Although ampicillin is not a common antibiotic, it does treat some specific types of bacteria including those that cause gonorrhea and infections. So for infections like peritonitis, and impetigo, ampicillin can be used to treat infections in a very specific way. Ampicillin is generally used in combination with other antibiotics but works particularly well for certain types of bacterial infections.
If your abscess is caused by anaerobic bacteria, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic like metronidazole to reduce symptoms and promote healing. Metronidazole treats bacterial infections in several different ways. It inhibits DNA synthesis by decreasing oxygen intake; it also reduces inflammation. And, it acts as a bacteriostatic agent that prevents bacteria from multiplying further. (14) In fact, doctors often recommend metronidazole for treating digestive disorders caused by protozoa, such as giardia or amoebic dysentery. Studies show that taking a daily dose of 250 milligrams reduces symptoms of infection by as much as 50 percent in 24 hours—that’s pretty potent stuff!
This antibiotic is frequently used to treat urinary tract infections. When prescribed for ear or skin abscesses, it can also help prevent complications like scarring and dizziness that may occur if your ears or scalp continue to drain. While Nitrofurantoin can usually be taken for two weeks without needing a prescription, you’ll need a doctor’s authorization to obtain it. To make sure you don’t have an allergy to nitrofurantoin, ask your pharmacist if there are any trace elements of penicillin in your pill before taking it.
This antibiotic is effective for certain types of infections, including those that cause ear infections and urinary tract infections. Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim works by fighting bacteria in your body, such as with pneumonia and respiratory illnesses. This antibiotic may also be used to treat conditions like conjunctivitis (pink eye), shigellosis (infection caused by Shigella) and staphylococcal skin infections (boils). Sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim can be taken once a day or two times a day, based on your medical condition. You’ll usually start to see results after one week of treatment.
This antibiotic is usually used in combination with other drugs. It is used to treat serious infections that do not respond to other antibiotics. Examples of infections caused by bacteria include pneumonia, bone and joint infections, and blood stream or urinary tract infections. Clindamycin is in a class of antibiotics called lincosamides. These drugs work by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. Clindamycin comes as a capsule, an oral solution (liquid), and a topical solution (cream). Swallow capsules whole with a glass of water or other liquid. Do not chew or open capsules; sprinkle capsule contents on applesauce and swallow right away without chewing; then wash down with plenty of water. Mix oral solution in water just before taking.
According to a study published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews in 2008, Avelox is one of five antibiotics that have been proven to be effective against MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). In fact, it can be as effective as IV penicillin in treating skin abscesses. Side effects may include irritation of the esophagus and stomach, rash, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. It should not be used by people with a history of asthma or severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It’s also not recommended for children under 12 months old due to concerns about developing cross-sensitivity to penicillin.