What is the treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever is treated with one of the tetracycline drugs, usually doxycycline (sold as a generic), in adults and children over age 9. In general, tetracyclines should not be prescribed for pregnant women and children under the age of 9 because these antibiotics can permanently stain the teeth.
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Oct 26, 2018 · RMSF can be life-threatening. Early treatment with the antibiotic doxycycline can prevent death and severe illness. Doxycycline is the recommended antibiotic treatment for RMSF in adults and children of all ages.
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Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be difficult to diagnose because the early signs and symptoms are similar to those caused by many other diseases. Laboratory tests can check a blood sample, rash specimen or the tick itself for evidence of the organism that causes the infection. Because early treatment with antibiotics is so important, doctors don't wait for these test results before starting treatment if Rocky Mountain fever is strongly suspected.
People who develop Rocky Mountain spotted fever are much more likely to avoid complications if treated within five days of developing symptoms. That's why your doctor will probably have you begin antibiotic therapy before receiving conclusive test results. Doxycycline (Monodox, Vibramycin, others) is the most effective treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, but it's not a good choice if you're pregnant. In that case, your doctor may prescribe chloramphenicol as an alternative.
You'll likely start by seeing your family doctor. In some cases, you might be referred to a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases.
When treated with doxycycline, fever generally subsides within 24–48 hours.Severely ill patients may require longer periods of treatment before fever will resolve, especially if they have experienced damage to organ systems.Resistance to doxycycline or relapses in symptoms after the completion of the recommended course has not been documented.Doxycycline is the drug of choice recommended by both CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases to treat suspected rickettsial disease in children.Use of antibiotics other than doxycycline increases the risk of severe illness and death.Doxycycline should be used whenever possible.In cases of severe doxycycline allergy, rapid desensitization procedures in an inpatient setting may be considered. Physicians should carefully weigh the benefits of doxycycline use and the risks o...Chloramphenicol is the only alternative drug used to treat RMSF; however, epidemiologic studies suggest that RMSF patients treated with chloramphenicol are at higher risk for death than people who...The use of sulfa-containing drugs may worsen clinical course and increase the likelihood of death from RMSF.Post-tick bite antibiotic prophylaxis is not recommended to prevent RMSF.People who were bitten by a tick should be advised to watch for signs and symptoms and see their healthcare provider if fever, rash, or other symptoms develop within two weeks of tick bite.Treatment for asymptomatic individuals is not currently recommended.
- Treatment Duration
- Treating Children and Pregnant Women
- Other Treatments
- Antibiotics as Prophylaxis
What is the treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever? Treatment involves the use of certain antibiotics, such as tetracycline or chloramphenicol. Antibiotic treatment can be terminated two or three days after a person's temperature returns to normal for a full 24-hour period.
- Risk Factors
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection transmitted by a tick. Without prompt treatment, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause serious damage to internal organs, such as your kidneys and heart. Although it was first identified in the Rocky Mountains, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is most commonly found in the southeastern part of the United States. It also occurs in parts of Canada, Mexico, Central America and South America. Early signs and symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever include a severe headache and high fever. A few days later, a rash usually appears on the wrists and ankles. Rocky Mountain spotted fever responds well to prompt treatment with antibiotics.
Although many people become ill within the first week after infection, signs and symptoms may not appear for up to 14 days. Initial signs and symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever often are nonspecific and can mimic those of other illnesses: 1. High fever 2. Chills 3. Severe headache 4. Muscle aches 5. Nausea and vomiting 6. Confusion or other neurological changes
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by infection with the organism Rickettsia rickettsii. Ticks carrying R. rickettsii are the most common source of infection. If an infected tick attaches itself to your skin and feeds on your blood for six to 10 hours, you may pick up the infection. But you may never see the tick on you. Rocky Mountain spotted fever primarily occurs when ticks are most active and during warm weather when people tend to spend more time outdoors. Rocky Mountain spotted fever cannot be spread from person to person.
Factors that may increase your risk of contracting Rocky Mountain spotted fever include: 1. Living in an area where the disease is common 2. The time of year — infections are more common in the spring and early summer 3. How much time you spend in grassy or wooded areas 4. Whether you have a dog or spend time with dogs If an infected tick attaches to your skin, you can contract Rocky Mountain spotted fever when you remove it, as fluid from the tick can enter your body through an opening such as the bite site. You can reduce your risk of infection by taking steps to prevent exposure to ticks and tick fluids. When removing a tick from your skin: 1. Use a tweezers to grasp the tick near its head or mouth and remove it carefully 2. Treat the tick as if it's contaminated; soak it in alcohol or flush it down the toilet 3. Clean the bite area with antiseptic 4. Wash your hands thoroughly
Rocky Mountain spotted fever damages the lining of your smallest blood vessels, causing the vessels to leak or form clots. This may cause: 1. Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).In addition to severe headaches, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause inflammation of the brain, which can cause confusion, seizures and delirium. 2. Inflammation of the heart or lungs.Rocky Mountain spotted fever can cause inflammation in areas of the heart and lungs. This can lead to heart failure or lung failure in severe cases. 3. Kidney failure.Your kidneys filter waste from your blood, and the blood vessels within the kidneys are very small and fragile. Damage to these vessels can eventually result in kidney failure. 4. Serious infection, possibly amputation.Some of your smallest blood vessels are in your fingers and toes. If these vessels don't work properly, the tissue at your farthest extremities may develop gangrene and die. Amputation would then be necessary. 5. Death.Untreated, Rocky Mount...
You can decrease your chances of contracting Rocky Mountain spotted fever by taking some simple precautions: 1. Wear long pants and sleeves.When walking in wooded or grassy areas, wear shoes, long pants tucked into socks and long-sleeved shirts. Try to stick to trails and avoid walking through low bushes and long grass. 2. Use insect repellents.Products containing DEET (Off! Deep Woods, Repel) often repel ticks. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label. Clothing that has permethrin impregnated into the fabric is toxic to ticks and also may be helpful in decreasing tick contact when outdoors. 3. Do your best to tick-proof your yard.Clear brush and leaves where ticks live. Keep woodpiles in sunny areas. 4. Check yourself and your pets for ticks.Do this after being in wooded or grassy areas. Some ticks are no bigger than the head of a pin, so you may not discover them unless you are very careful. 5. Remove a tick with tweezers. Gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth. Don't...