|How Is It Treated?
The diagnosis of Infective Endocarditis is suspected on the basis of symptoms and high risk factors (see below) and confirmed with blood cultures. Antibiotics are then administered (often intravenously and for a period of some weeks) to eradicate the infecting organisms. Other medications may be given to relieve the various symptoms.
People with cyanotic congenital heart defects, recent heart surgery or artificial heart valves are especially at risk for this disease. High risk factors also include alcohol abuse or self-administered intravenous drug use. In addition, pregnancy and a history of Rheumatic Fever increase the likelihood of infection.
After recovery, which may take some weeks, it may be necessary to take antibiotics (antibiotic prophylaxis) before undergoing invasive medical or dental procedures.