New concept in chemoprophylaxis of bacterial endocarditis resulting from dental treatment

M. M. Littner*, I. Kaffe, A. Tamse, A. Buchner

*Corresponding author for this work

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13 Scopus citations


Bacteremia following dental procedures may lead to bacterial endocarditis in susceptible patients. Traditional methods of chemoprophylaxis with a parenteral loading dose of penicillin followed by oral penicillin have proved impractical outside the hospital. In 1978, it was suggested in England that amoxicillin be substituted as the drug of choice in the prophylaxis of bacterial endocarditis. The recommended mode of treatment was a single oral dose of 3 g amoxicillin administered 1 hour before onset of the dental procedure. Amoxicillin is absorbed to a greater extent and more rapidly than penicillin V. It maintains its effectiveness throughout the critical postoperative period at concentrations well over the minimum necessary to combat Streptococcus viridans. Amoxicillin has two mechanisms of protection: bactericidal and inhibition of bacterial adherence to the thrombotic vegetation on injured heart valves. Data obtained from 206 susceptible patients undergoing dental treatment under chemoprophylaxis with amoxicillin showed that in no case did infective endocarditis occur. Only in 13.1% of the patients could very mild side effects of this drug be observed. With this new method, there is a higher incidence of patient compliance and administration is easier to supervise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-342
Number of pages5
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1986


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