Medication for Antibiotic-Resistant Infections

Antibiotic-resistant infections are treated with other types of antibiotics. Your NYU Langone doctor prescribes these medications based on the type of infection you have—and the types of medications to which the organism responds.

Antibiotics may be taken by mouth or given through a vein with intravenous (IV) infusion. IV antibiotics can be given in the hospital, at home, or in a rehabilitation facility. Sometimes doctors prescribe a combination of medications. 

Treatment of a MRSA infection at home often involves a 7- to 10-day course of an antibiotic such as clindamycin, doxycycline, or a combination of sulfamethoxazole–trimethoprim and linezolid.

A person with a carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae infection may be treated with specialized antibiotics such as tigecycline, polymyxin B, and beta-lactam combination antibiotics. 

Medication may be needed only for a short period or for as long as six to eight weeks. The duration of treatment depends on the type of infection and where in the body it is located. For instance, treatment for endocarditis, an infection in the inner lining of the heart, could last as long as six weeks. By contrast, treatment for a urinary tract infection may last for three days.

When using an antibiotic, it is crucial that you follow your doctor’s instructions to avoid recurrence and to prevent the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Be sure to take your medication on the recommended schedule and finish the entire course of treatment—even if you feel better after a few days.

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