Treatment Options

NHS

Most cases of endocarditis can be treated with a course of antibiotics. You'll usually have to be admitted to hospital so the antibiotics can be given through a drip in your arm (intravenously). Your doctor will usually take a blood sample before prescribing antibiotics to make sure you're given the most effective treatment.

If your symptoms are severe, you may be prescribed a mixture of different antibiotics before getting the result of the blood sample. This is a precautionary measure to prevent your symptoms becoming worse.

While you're in hospital, regular blood samples will be taken to see how well the treatment is working.  Once your fever and any severe symptoms subside, you may be able to leave hospital and continue receiving antibiotics at home by a drip (IV).

If you're receiving antibiotics at home, you should have regular appointments with a nurse and your GP to check that the treatment is working and you're not experiencing any side effects. You'll usually have to take antibiotics for 2 to 6 weeks.

Surgery

Endocarditis can cause serious damage to your heart. You may be referred to a cardiologist, a specialist in diseases of the heart and blood vessels, so your heart can be assessed more thoroughly. You may need surgery to repair damage to the heart.

The 3 main surgical procedures used to treat endocarditis are:

  • repair of the damaged heart valve
  • replacement of the damaged heart valves with prosthetic ones during aortic valve replacement surgery
  • draining of any abscesses and repair of any fistulas that may have developed in the heart muscle

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