Antibiotic therapy is the only effective treatment for typhoid fever.
Commonly prescribed antibiotics
- Ciprofloxacin (Cipro). In the United States, doctors often prescribe this for nonpregnant adults.
- Ceftriaxone (Rocephin). This injectable antibiotic is an alternative for people who may not be candidates for ciprofloxacin, such as children.
These drugs can cause side effects, and long-term use can lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
Problems with antibiotic resistance
In the past, the drug of choice was chloramphenicol. Doctors no longer commonly use it, however, because of side effects, a high rate of health deterioration after a period of improvement (relapse) and widespread bacterial resistance.
In fact, the existence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a growing problem in the treatment of typhoid fever, especially in the developing world. In recent years, S. typhi also has proved resistant to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and ampicillin.
Other treatments include:
July 11, 2015
- Drinking fluids. This helps prevent the dehydration that results from a prolonged fever and diarrhea. If you're severely dehydrated, you may need to receive fluids through a vein (intravenously).
- Surgery. If your intestines become perforated, you'll need surgery to repair the hole.
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- Typhoid fever. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/divisions/dfbmd/diseases/typhoid_fever. Accessed June 10, 2015.
- Hohmann EL. Epidemiology, microbiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of typhoid fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 10, 2015.
- Hohmann EL. Treatment and prevention of typhoid fever. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 10, 2015.
- Anwar E, et al. Vaccines for preventing typhoid fever. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001261.pub3/abstract. Accessed June 10, 2015.