Typhus Medication

Updated: Oct 10, 2019
  • Author: Jason F Okulicz, MD, FACP, FIDSA; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity, to prevent complications, and to eradicate infection.



Class Summary

Specific antimicrobial therapy effective against rickettsia should be used. Doxycycline and chloramphenicol are used as antirickettsial agents for the treatment of typhus.

In Thailand, the emergence of doxycycline-resistant scrub typhus has caused clinicians to seek alternative antimicrobials. [12] Azithromycin and rifampicin have been shown to be effective in small trials conducted in areas with known doxycycline resistance. [13]

Doxycycline (Doryx, Bio-Tab, Vibramycin)

Inhibits protein synthesis and thus bacterial growth by binding to 30S and possibly 50S ribosomal subunits of susceptible bacteria. No dose adjustment is necessary in renal impairment.

Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin)

Generally bacteriostatic to most susceptible microorganisms; binds to the 50S bacterial ribosomal subunits and inhibits bacterial growth by inhibiting protein synthesis. Not preferred therapy for treating patients with typhus.