Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to site content Skip directly to page options
CDC Home
Share
Compartir

Treatment

Doctors have several options for treating patients with anthrax, including antibiotics and antitoxin. Patients with serious cases of anthrax will need to be hospitalized. They may require aggressive treatment, such as continuous fluid drainage and help breathing through mechanical ventilation.

Antibiotics

All types of anthrax infection can be treated with antibiotics, including intravenous antibiotics (medicine given through the vein). If someone has symptoms of anthrax, it’s important to get medical care as quickly as possible to have the best chances of a full recovery. Doctors will select antibiotics that are best for treating anthrax and that are best for the patient based on their medical history.

Antitoxin Doctor with IV bag 

When anthrax spores get inside the body, they can be “activated.” When they become active, anthrax bacteria can multiply, spread out in the body, and produce toxins—or poisons. Anthrax toxins in the body cause severe illness. 

After anthrax toxins have been released in the body, one possible treatment is antitoxin. Antitoxins target anthrax toxins in the body. Doctors must use antitoxin together with other treatment options.  

Currently, there are a few types of antitoxins that can be used for treating anthrax.
 

NEW: Updated CDC Recommendations for the Treatment of Anthrax

Recommendations for preventing and treating anthrax in adults were released in 2014. Appearing in Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, these articles describe in detail recommendations for preventing anthrax, evaluating patients, and treating patients with anthrax:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Expert Panel Meetings on Prevention and Treatment of Anthrax in Adults

Special Considerations for Treatment of Anthrax in Pregnant and Postpartum Women

 

For More Information

  • Contact your local or state health department.
  • Call the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO).
 
Contact Us:
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    1600 Clifton Rd
    Atlanta, GA 30333
  • 800-CDC-INFO
    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC-INFO
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC-INFO