Brucellosis - Treatment

Please discuss the treatment or medications you received for brucellosis.

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What is the treatment for brucellosis?

The cornerstone of treatment for brucellosis is antibiotics. Because of the high relapse rate associated with the disease, the use of a multidrug (two or more) antibiotic regimen is recommended. The antimicrobials most commonly used include doxycycline (Vibramycin), streptomycin, rifampin (Rifadin), gentamicin (Garamycin), and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim, Septra). The combination of antibiotics used will vary based on disease severity, age and pregnancy.

In general, a full six-week course of antibiotics is recommended, and prompt treatment can lead to an improvement in symptoms and may also prevent the complications associated with brucellosis. However, relapse rates of the disease are still about 5%-10%, even with treatment. Depending on the severity of illness, the associated complications (if any) and the timing of treatment, recovery may take from a few weeks to a few months.

Rarely, surgical intervention may be needed for certain complications associated with brucellosis, such as abscess formation or heart-valve infection. Your health-care provider may need to consult other physicians, including surgeons, infectious disease specialists, or a neurologist.

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