Aug. 31, 2022 –  Infections also may arise from other sources, such as poor dental hygiene, implanted medical devices, chronic skin disorders or burns.

The new statement was prompted by advances in understanding the unique challenges of treating heart infections in people who inject drugs, Dr. Daniel C. DeSimone said in a news release. He’s chair of the writing committee for the statement and an associate professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

“More people who inject drugs are having this potentially deadly heart infection,” he said. The proportion of people in the U.S. hospitalized with infective endocarditis related to injection drug use doubled from 2002 to 2016, from 8% to about 16%, research shows.

People hospitalized for infective endocarditis should be screened for substance use and those found to inject drugs should be treated for that condition immediately, the statement advises. Such treatment should include medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to reduce opioid-related withdrawal symptoms to improve the chances of the patient completing treatment for endocarditis.


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