Procedures That May Require Antibiotics to Prevent Endocarditis
Some people who are at risk for endocarditis take preventive (prophylactic) antibiotics before they
have certain dental or surgical procedures that could
put bacteria or fungi into their blood. The antibiotics lower the risk of
Not all people who may have risk factors for endocarditis take antibiotics. The people who take antibiotics have certain heart conditions that make getting endocarditis even more
dangerous. If you do not have these conditions, antibiotics are not likely to help you.
Your doctor can tell you whether you need to take antibiotics. Before you
have any medical, dental, or surgical procedures, tell all other health
professionals who may treat you that you are at risk for endocarditis.
If your doctor or dentist recommends that you take preventive
antibiotics, the medicine typically is given 30 minutes to 1 hour before the
What procedures need antibiotics?
Tooth removal (extractions), implants, or reimplantation of
teeth lost from injury
Periodontal procedures, such as oral
surgery, scaling, root planing, and probing
Removal of stitches
Initial placement of
orthodontic bands (not brackets)
Wilson W, et al. (2007). Prevention of endocarditis.
Guidelines from the American Heart Association. A guideline from the American
Heart Association Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease
Committee, Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young, and the Council on
Clinical Cardiology, Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia, and the
Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Interdisciplinary Working Group.
Circulation. Published online April 19, 2007
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.