Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Prevention of anthrax after a known exposure typically includes a course of oral antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro) or doxycycline (Monodox, Vibramycin, others), for up to 60 days.

Treatment for anthrax infection often requires a combination of antibiotics depending on the areas of the body that are affected by infection, your age, your overall health and other factors. Treatment is most effective when started as soon as possible.

Although some cases of anthrax respond to antibiotics, advanced inhalation anthrax may not. By the later stages of the disease, the bacteria have often produced more toxins than drugs can eliminate.

Since the 2001 attacks in the United States, antitoxin therapies have been developed. Instead of going after the bacteria that causes the disease, these medications help eliminate the toxins caused by the infection. These medications are still considered experimental.

Some cases of injection anthrax were successfully treated with the surgical removal of infected tissue.

July 16, 2015