Rickettsial Infection Medication

Updated: Nov 22, 2021
  • Author: Mobeen H Rathore, MD, CPE, FAAP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

Adequate antibiotic therapy initiated early is highly effective and associated with the best outcomes.



Class Summary

Empiric antimicrobial therapy must be comprehensive and should cover all likely pathogens in the context of the clinical setting.

Doxycycline (Bio-Tab, Doryx, Vibramycin)

DOC. Inhibits protein synthesis and, thus, bacterial growth by binding to 30S and, possibly, 50S ribosomal subunits of susceptible bacteria.

Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin)

Binds to 50S bacterial-ribosomal subunits and inhibits bacterial growth by inhibiting protein synthesis. Effective against gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. It may not be as effective against rickettsia as doxycycline.

If administered on an outpatient basis, 30% of patients subsequently require hospitalization, compared with 11% of patients treated with tetracyclines.