Toxic Shock Syndrome (cont.)

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What is the treatment for toxic shock syndrome?

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If you suspect that you have TSS, you should immediately seek medical care or go to an emergency department for evaluation. Foreign material such as tampons, contraceptive devices, or wound packings must be immediately removed. Treatment may involve a combination of the following:

  • Intravenous (IV) fluids to stabilize the blood pressure, possibly in combination with medications to raise blood pressure
  • IV antibiotics to fight the source of the infection
  • Oxygen administration
  • Removal of tampons, nasal packings, or other suspected sources of the infection
  • Surgical interventions to drain the source of the infection in cases of an abscess and remove necrotic tissue (dead tissues)
  • Dialysis if kidney failure develops

Other therapies

  • IV immunoglobulin has been reported to be beneficial in severe cases of TSS.
  • Neither hyperbaric oxygen therapy (oxygen given at higher than normal amounts and pressures) nor high-dose corticosteroid treatments have shown any beneficial outcomes in patients with TSS.

How is toxic shock syndrome prevented?

TSS due to tampon use during menstruation can be prevented by regularly changing tampons and avoiding highly absorbent tampons.


Tintinalli, Judith E., ed. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.

Last Editorial Review: 8/24/2012

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