How is severe cellulitis treated?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Thomas E Herchline, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Patients with severe cellulitis require parenteral therapy, such as the following:

  • Usually, cellulitis is presumed to be due to staphylococci or streptococci infection and may be treated with cefazolin, cefuroxime, ceftriaxone, nafcillin, or oxacillin.

  • Antimicrobial options in patients who are allergic to penicillin include clindamycin or vancomycin. [14]

  • Infections associated with diabetic ulcers are often polymicrobial; empiric coverage in this setting should include broad coverage of gram-positive, gram-negative, and anaerobic organisms. [15]

  • If the cellulitis appears to be related to a furuncle or an abscess or if it is a postsurgical infection, include coverage for MRSA for severe cases until culture and sensitivity information is available.

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