Monday, April 23, 2007

Do I need antibiotics when I go to my dentist? Some major changes in recommendations

Antibiotics are routinely prescribed prior to a dental procedure if you have a heart valve problem. This is done to prevent infection of the heart valves- disease called infective endocarditis (I.E.). The routine of giving antibiotics to prevent I.E. is called I.E. prophylaxis. Here is the who and when of I.E. prophylaxis according to new guidelines published in the online edition of the journal Circulation on April 19, 2007.
- Who needs it? The I.E. prophylaxis is needed only if you have the following heart problems: an artificial (‘pig’ or ‘plastic’) valve, previous history of infective endocarditis, certain (not all) congenital heart diseases, history of heart transplantation with damaged valves of the transplanted heart. No more antibiotics if you just have thick valves or even mitral valve prolapse (MVP).
- When do you need it? The I.E. prophylaxis is only recommended before dental procedures, procedures on respiratory tract, infected skin, skin structure or musculoskeletal tissue. It is no more recommended for procedures on gastrointestinal or genitourinary tract including endoscopy, prostate biopsy etc.
To read the whole article published in the journal Circulation, click here through action


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