Antibiotics for Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy and After Birth
Toxoplasmosis infection during pregnancy can lead to
eye and brain damage in a growing baby (fetus) or
infant. Antibiotic therapy can prevent or reduce these birth defects.
Initial treatment after a mother is infected
pregnant woman has a toxoplasmosis infection, she is treated with an
antibiotic. This lowers the chances that her fetus
will become infected.
If you are diagnosed with toxoplasmosis
during pregnancy, you will be given spiramycin.1
Spiramycin collects in the
placenta, the site where the Toxoplasma gondii parasites travel to the fetus.
Treatment for a fetus
amniocentesis shows that a fetus is infected, giving
the mother a combination of antibiotics lowers the risk of birth defects and
may cure the infection.2 Sulfadiazine plus
pyrimethamine (an antibiotic commonly used for malaria) is sometimes used with
the antibiotic spiramycin.1, 3
Treatment for a newborn
A newborn who has
toxoplasmosis needs a year of antibiotics to lower the risk of eye and brain
damage. This treatment is given to the newborn even if the mother was treated
Montoya JG, et al. (2010). Toxoplasma gondii. In GL Mandell et al., eds., Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 7th ed., vol. 2, pp. 3495–3526. Philadelphia: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
(2000, reaffirmed 2009). Perinatal viral and parasitic infections. ACOG
Practice Bulletin No. 20. Obstetrics and Gynecology,
Savoia MC (2004). Toxoplasmosis section of Bacterial,
fungal, and parasitic disease. In GN Burrow et al., eds., Medical Complications During Pregnancy, 6th ed., pp. 330–332.
Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
June 2, 2011
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 02, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this