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Some people who are at risk for endocarditis take preventive (prophylactic) antibiotics before they
have certain dental or surgical procedures that could
put bacteria or fungi into their blood. The antibiotics lower the risk of
Not all people who may have risk factors for endocarditis take antibiotics. The people who take antibiotics have certain heart conditions that make getting endocarditis even more
dangerous. If you do not have these conditions, antibiotics are not likely to help you.
These heart conditions include:
Your doctor can tell you whether you need to take antibiotics. Before you
have any medical, dental, or surgical procedures, tell all other health
professionals who may treat you that you are at risk for endocarditis.
If your doctor or dentist recommends that you take preventive
antibiotics, the medicine typically is given 30 minutes to 1 hour before the
Other Works Consulted
Wilson W, et al. (2007). Prevention of endocarditis.
Guidelines from the American Heart Association. A guideline from the American
Heart Association Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease
Committee, Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young, and the Council on
Clinical Cardiology, Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia, and the
Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Interdisciplinary Working Group.
Circulation. Published online April 19, 2007
March 9, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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