What is the treatment for a MRSA infection?
- The main treatment for boils and abscesses is incision and drainage. Antibiotics may not be needed if the infection is mild and the pus is drained.
- If antibiotic treatment is needed, it is usually empiric (based on the physician's best guess). Treatment can be made more precise if a pus sample can be sent to the laboratory. When the tests are run to determine that the staph bacteria isolated from a given patient are methicillin-resistant, they also provide valuable information about which antibiotics can successfully kill the bacteria (its susceptibility profile).
Fortunately, many MRSA infections can be treated by a common and long-standing antibiotic, vancomycin (Vancocin and generic brands), and it is included in most empiric treatment regimens. Newer drugs are also available, although some are much more expensive: ceftaroline (Teflaro), linezolid (Zyvox), daptomycin (Cubicin), dalbavancin (Dalvance), telavancin (Vibativ), and others. Only linezolid comes in a pill in addition to intravenous (IV) solution. Moderate to severe infections need to be treated by IV antibiotics, usually given in the hospital setting and completed at home with a home health agency.
Less serious infections are often susceptible to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim), doxycycline (Vibramycin), and clindamycin (Cleocin), all of which come in an oral form as well as IV. Rarely, some strains have become resistant to vancomycin (vancomycin-resistance, vancomycin-resistant Staph aureus, VRSA); this may require combinations of antibiotics.