Actinomycosis - Treatment 

Treating actinomycosis 

Antibiotics are the main treatment for actinomycosis. A long-term course of antibiotics is required to wipe out the infection completely.

An initial course of antibiotic injections is usually recommended for two to six weeks, followed by a course of antibiotic tablets for another six to 12 months.

A nurse should be able to teach you how to administer antibiotic injections in your own home so you do not need to stay in hospital for the duration of the course.

The preferred antibiotics for treating actinomycosis are benzylpenicillin, which is used for the antibiotic injections, and phenoxymethylpenicillin tablets.

Side effects of these penicillins include:

  • diarrhoea
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • skin rash
  • increased vulnerability to fungal infections, such as oral thrush (a fungal infection that occurs in the mouth)

If you are allergic to penicillin, alternative antibiotics, such as tetracycline or erythromycin can be used.

Read more information about antibiotics.


Occasionally, surgery may be required to repair tissue damage or drain pus from any abscesses that have formed deep inside your body.

Intrauterine device (IUD)

If you experience symptoms of pelvic actinomycosis caused by an intrauterine device (IUD), it will need to be removed.

Page last reviewed: 14/08/2012

Next review due: 14/08/2014


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Antibiotics are medications that are used to treat, and in some cases prevent, bacterial infections