People Who Need Antibiotics to Prevent Endocarditis

Topic Overview

Some heart problems can put you at risk for an infection in the heart called endocarditis. These heart conditions include:

If you have any of these heart conditions, you may need to take antibiotics before you have certain dental or surgical procedures that could put bacteria or fungi into your blood. The antibiotics lower your risk of getting endocarditis.

Your doctor can issue you a special card to carry in your wallet if you require preventive antibiotics before certain dental or surgical procedures. Your condition and specific antibiotic requirements are outlined on this card, which is signed by your doctor.

Credits

Author Robin Parks, MS
Editor Kathleen M. Ariss, MS
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Caroline S. Rhoads, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John A. McPherson, MD, FACC, FSCAI - Cardiology
Last Updated April 16, 2009

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