Doctors often prescribe doxycycline for MRSA infections.
There are several major challenges in treating the bacteria known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This particular bacterium is immune to many conventional antibiotic treatments normally used to kill microbes. Doxycycline, a potent antibiotic that disrupts the protein-producing capacity of bacteria, has been shown to be effective against most strains of this infectious organism. For this reason, taking doxycycline for MRSA infections is one of the first-line treatments recommended by many medical professionals.
The main test for an MRSA infection is a nasal swab.
Skin and soft tissue infections (STIs) are one of the ways MRSA commonly presents itself in patients. These infections can involve different strains of the MRSA bacteria. Doctors often prescribe doxycycline for MRSA that causes skin and bone infections because this drug can usually kill most strains of the bacteria. Therefore, its use eliminates the need to identify an exact bacterial strain and determine which antibiotics are effective against that strain. The low cost of this antibiotic means communities can easily use it to fight epidemics.
Doxycycline is usually given orally, while other antibiotics for MRSA require injections into an intravenous line.
Research has shown that taking doxycycline to treat MRSA can produce positive results most of the time. A study in which patients with skin infections and physical activity were treated with different types of antibiotics effective against MRSA showed that only doxycycline had a 100% success rate for treatment. All patients who received doxycycline experienced complete relief from the infection after 14 days of treatment. Even among MRSA strains resistant to several types of antibiotics, this drug tends to have an 80% to 95% success rate for treatment.
Side effects of taking doxycycline for MRSA can include headache.
Many antibiotics given in a hospital setting are given intravenously (IV). Doxycycline for MRSA is given in oral tablet form because of its strength and ability to be completely absorbed into the bloodstream. This drug has a relatively long half-life of 18 to 22 hours, or the time it takes the body to break down and excrete half a given amount of a drug. A long half-life means that doxycycline does not need to be taken more than once a day. This in turn increases the chances that patients will take the medication regularly until the infection is completely treated.
Blurred vision is considered a serious side effect of taking doxycycline.
Side effects can occur when taking doxycycline for MRSA. These adverse effects can include nausea, headache, and diarrhea. Some of these side effects can be confused with the symptoms of the infection itself, so close attention should be paid to when these effects arise. Extreme dizziness and headaches can be signs of more serious health problems and should be reported to a doctor if they occur.