Because salmonella infection can be dehydrating, treatment focuses on replacing fluids and electrolytes. Severe cases may require hospitalization and fluids delivered directly into a vein (intravenous). In addition, your doctor may recommend:
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- Anti-diarrheals. Medications like loperamide (Imodium A-D) can help relieve cramping, but they may also prolong the diarrhea associated with salmonella infection.
- Antibiotics. If your doctor suspects that salmonella bacteria have entered your bloodstream, or if you have a severe case or a compromised immune system, he or she may prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria. Antibiotics are not of benefit in uncomplicated cases. In fact, antibiotics may prolong the period in which you carry the bacteria and can infect others, and they can increase your risk of relapse.
- Hohmann EL. Approach to the patient with nontyphoidal Salmonella in a stool culture. http://www.uptodate.com/home/. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Salmonella questions and answers: Food safety information. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/abff4b65-494e-45f4-9d69-75e168c8524b/Salmonella_Questions_and_Answers.pdf?MOD=AJPERES. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Salmonella. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Patient information: Dehydration (the basics). http://www.uptodate.com/home/. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Diarrhoea and vomiting caused by gastroenteritis: Diagnosis, assessment and management in children younger than 5 years. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=14445&search=dehydration. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- Salmonella infections. The Merck Manuals: Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/sec14/ch173/ch173p.html. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.
- The Salmonella Action Plan presents a number of aggressive steps the agency will take to prevent Salmonella-related illnesses. U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/foodborne-illness-and-disease/salmonella/sap. Accessed Dec. 8, 2013.
- FDA releases draft risk profile on pathogens and filth in spices, takes steps to strengthen spice safety. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm372995.htm. Accessed Dec. 9, 2013.