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Medications to treat infections of ascitic fluid

People who have fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites) caused by cirrhosis are at high risk of developing infections of this fluid. Most people who develop these infections have long-term (chronic) cirrhosis. Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is the most common ascitic infection caused by bacteria.

SBP infection can be successfully treated with antibiotics, such as cefotaxime sodium (Claforan), that kill bacteria usually found in the intestinal tract. Your doctor may perform a procedure called paracentesis to collect a sample of fluid from the abdomen. The fluid can be analyzed to determine which antibiotic will be most effective against the bacteria causing the infection.

Most people who are treated with antibiotics recover from the infection. After recovery, you must continue to take additional antibiotics to prevent the infection from recurring. You will take antibiotics for the rest of your life once you have had an infection of ascitic fluid.

Author Caroline Rea, RN, BS, MS
Editor Maria Essig
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Pat Truman, MATC
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD
- Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Steven L. Flamm, MD
- Gastroenterology
Last Updated January 25, 2008

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 25, 2008
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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