Treatment

The standard treatment for anthrax is a 60-day course of an antibiotic, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro) or doxycycline (Monodox, Vibramycin, others). Which single antibiotic or combination of antibiotics will be most effective for you depends on how you were infected with anthrax, 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.

June 01, 2017
References
  1. Wilson KH. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of anthrax. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  2. Longo DL, et al., eds. Microbial bioterrorism. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  3. Anthrax. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/gram-positive-bacilli/anthrax. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  4. Wilson KH. Microbiology, pathogenesis, and epidemiology of anthrax. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  5. Wilson KH. Prevention of anthrax. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  6. Wilson KH. Treatment of anthrax. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  7. Stone CK, et al., eds. Nuclear, biologic, and chemical agents; weapons of mass destruction. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  8. Hall JB, et al., eds. Biological warfare. In: Principles of Critical Care. 4th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.
  9. Anthrax vaccine: What you need to know. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/anthrax.html. Accessed Jan. 18, 2017.