How long will MRSA treatment last is determined by the type of antibiotic and also the route (topical, oral, injection, or intravenously) of administration. Other factors will include the extensiveness of the infection, the specific strain, and surgery. If surgery is included in the treatment plan, the length of treating this staph infection will be extended.
When surgical procedure for MRSA is needed it may not extend the length of treatment as much as expected because doctors are able at times to perform outpatient surgery; however, if the infection is more severe, a longer and intense surgery is typically required.
MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a contagious bacterium that is resistant to some antibiotics like methicillin, amoxicillin, penicillin, and other related antibiotics. Typically the treatment of it includes the administration of antibiotics.
Different Treatment Lengths
- Antibiotics Treatment
For a mild MRSA infection on the skin, a topical antibiotic may applied for 5-10 days. For infections that have spread to other parts of the body, oral antibiotic treatment will be necessary. The duration may be as short as 5-10 days or may be necessary for weeks. In widespread, aggressive MRSA infections, antibiotics may be needed intravenously. The length of time will vary depending on the type of bacteria strain and the extent of the infection.
- Surgical Procedure
Surgery length can be as short when it is an office procedure where the infected area is lanced and drained. When the infection is internally and the infected tissue must be removed, it may be done as an outpatient, which will be longer. For extensive surgical procedures, the treatment will be the longest. Often the patient will need to be hospitalized to monitor the effectiveness of the surgery and to assure the infection is under control.
- Intravenous Treatment
When intravenous treatment is needed, some of the treatment may be done in the hospital. An intravenous pump can be used to administer regular and consistent doses of antibiotics to effectively treat the infection. This treatment may last longer to assure that the infection is completely cleared up before the treatment is stopped.
- Extended Treatment
When there are other health issues or a MRSA infection that has spread to other parts of the body, the length of treatment will be extended because there will be additional effects on the body that will need to be treated. If the original antibiotic is not effective, treatment will need to start again with a more effective antibiotic, which will also extend how long the treatment is. When the infection is in the heart, lungs, blood, or other organs, hospitalization may be needed to monitor the infection during treatment.
Following Treatment Guidelines
To successfully treat MRSA, the antibiotic treatment should be continued until the medication is finished, not when the symptoms are gone or the infection appears to be getting better. When antibiotics are not taken for as long as prescribed for treatment, it can cause bacteria to mutate and evolve into resistant strains. It can also cause a more serious infection because the stronger bacteria survive and reproduce. The in-discriminant and irresponsible use of antibiotics in the past is responsible for the development of MRSA and other resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
The length of the treatment is affected by many variables. A healthcare professional will need to be consulted for an estimation of how long the MRSA treatment will be in each individual case.