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Developed Abcess on face and lost 12 pounds
Feb 23, 2007

I developed on abscess on my face. I was placed on Keflex, the abscess became inflamed and my face swelled dramitically. I had it drained 3 days later and I was placed on Bactrin. While taking both meds my weight dropped from 172 to 159. My entire face swelled to the point I was having a difficult time swallowing. I had no appetite, but I continued to eat and push fluids. I did stop drinking anything with caffeine. The first few days I had diarrhea and now my stools are just soft. I finished all of my antibiotics. I've been HIV+ for 17 years and I am currently taking Invirase 500mg 2-twice daily, Norvir 100mg 1-twice daily and Combivir 150/300mg 1-twice daily. I also take a multiply vitamin. During my last HIV eval my T-cell count was 996 and viral load was undetectable. I've never had any opportunistic infections. In the last 6 months I've had 6 abscesses on my body treated with either Keflex, Bactrin or warm compresses. Is it possible that I may have developed a staph infection in my blood stream? Or some other viral infection where traditional antibiotics are no longer effective?

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

This doesn't sound like a HIV complication, but rather community acquired Staph infection- the issue is that there is a antibiotic-resistant strain, called MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) running around. MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics, including Keflex (I actually think that this is a bad antibiotic to use, even for susceptible Staph anyways); the use of inactive antibiotics won't do much for the symptoms and likely explains the multiple abscesses that you've had.

Trimethoprim/sulfa (Bactrim, Septra) and mupirocin (Bactroban) are effective means of treating MRSA-- their use likely explains why you've finally gotten better.

If you're better now and don't have fevers, chills or night sweats, I'd strongly doubt if you have a blood stream infection ("bacteremia"). Should you have these symptoms, I'd let your treater know, for sure.

Hope this helps, BY



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