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Thread: antibiotic infusion therapy questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    antibiotic infusion therapy questions

    35 years post-surgery, I was diagnosed with a bone infection (osteomyelitis) and my Harrington Rods were removed. I am now on 6 weeks of Penicillin IV infusion via a PICC line.

    I'd like to hear from others who have gone through this about what things helped you deal with the side effects of such a long course of antibiotics.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California

    Although I didn't have an infection due to my spinal fusion, I was on IV antibiotics for awhile. The one thing that helped me a lot was acidophilus.

    Good luck.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    bucks county PA
    Hi Brooklyn,
    Sorry to hear about the infection (especially after so many years since the surgery).
    I was on Nafcillin IV for 6 weeks and then back on for another 4weeks. I'm still on Bactrim DS (oral) until June (then they'll decide if I can stop). As Linda said Acidophilus (probiotics) are good, you can pick it up in the vitamin section of Walmart or GNC. It should be refrigerated after opening. Initially the antibiotics can give you diarrhea but for me that got balanced by the pain killers clogging me system up. So it all worked out in the end. I think the probiotics continue to keep things regular even now after no pain meds.
    Showering can be an annoyance but dealt with easy enough. I used plastic baggies (end cut off and slip arm through) and silk tape (paper tape can let water through) to cover where the PICC enters. This worked better then plastic wrap(what the visiting nurse suggested). Naficillin has a tendency to clog up the lines (I don't know if Penicillin does also) so I had to flush the lines 2x a day with Heperin. All in all you get into a routine and time goes quickly.
    Good luck if you have any questions just drop me a line.
    2 60* curves, DDD, left trunk shift, some rotation, rib and lumbar humps, annular tear at L5-S1
    surgery 5/08 planning fusion T3 or T4 to sacrum with iliac fixation
    Dr. Anderson at Rothman Institute
    5/16/08 ALIF L1-L5
    5/23/08 fused T2-sacrum w/fixation and I'm all Titanium
    6/4/08 open all back up to clean out for Staph infection
    (left open with just clear dressing)
    6/6/08 recleaned and closed
    3/30/2012 revision planned, broken rod and removal of iliac bolts

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Hi Brooklyn
    so sorry to hear of all you are dealing with!

    i had an IV catheter in my chest for a year and a half! lyme disease had me in a wheelchair by the time i was diagnosed..for over a year doctors told me i was crazy & there was nothing wrong with me...cause they didnt test me for the right illness...when they did, it popped up off the charts positive...i was on IV antibiotics..really strong ones...for a year...after that, i had a PICC line, for more IV antibiotics...but the line got infected, & i ended up with septesemia (splg?), which almost killed me...put me in ICU with 2 hours of oxygen left in my blood....

    anyway, as far as surviving the antibiotics...i ate alot of yogurt, took acidophilis (sp?) and was told to avoid sweets...easier said than done! also was to avoid wheat products as much as possible...after IV i was put on oral antibiotics, until my stomach gave out got too irritated to continue on orals....

    i would advise you to follow diet advice from doctor as much as possible, & be careful the line doesnt get infected...mine didnt look infected...but a 104 fever was a clue

    best of luck...take good care of yourself! 6 weeks should be manageable..i hope it does the trick!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Indianapolis, IN

    Red face

    Hi Brooklin
    I have not personally had IV antibiotics but I am an infusion nurse and have taught many patients to infuse their IV antibiotics at home. I have also worked at an infusion clinic and at hospitals. The key is to avoid infection of your PICC line. Always wash your hands before handling the line, use your alcohol wipes when flushing the line. Don't let the PICC line get wet. If it does call your nurse and have the dressing changed as soon as possible.
    Good Luck, you will get into a routine and the time will pass quickly!
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

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