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Took clarithromycin500 mg for broken teeth. Have bad abscess face swelling. Treatment?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
21 year old child has bad abcess face swelling looks like wisdom teeth surg removed have clarithromycin500 mg broken tooth we are iceing loratab for pain. swelling is bad pain is unreal past going to dentist er is only option no insureance
Posted Sun, 20 Jan 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 42 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
I interpret that you have been to your dentist for wisdom tooth removal and have been prescribed clarithromycin (500)twice daily and lortab(10/500) 6 hourly for the pain and swelling.
The treatment seems appropriate , however in case of abscess the main treatment is drainage of pus . If the abscess and swelling are persistent even after this treatment it's best to get it reevaluated by your doctor ( dentist or surgeon).
The reason is that pain and swelling can only be temporarily subsided by antiinflammatory analgesics like acetaminophen ( lortab) etc till the healing starts and infection ( abscess) resolves by a course of antibiotics .
Just changing to stronger analgesics like ibuprofen , tramadol etc won't cure the cause.
For a cure a change of antibiotics like Amoxicillin - Clavulunate , Cephalosporin etc ( according to doctors advice) might be necessary especially if symptoms persist after 5 days of clarithromycin and if still the abscess persists then incision and drainage is required.
Considering your condition it's important that you get a reevaluation done as soon as feasible ( if you can go to the dental ER ) .If that is not feasible you can try taking Ibuprofen 6 hourly for pain and swelling . Icing would help in the initial 24-48 hours but not after that , in which case warm saline gargles thrice daily may be soothing .
Please do not hesitate to provide any further details and get any doubts cleared.
As of now if the condition is not improving after 48 hours of treatment it's best to visit the ER.
Hope I have answered your query.
I'll be available for any follow up queries.

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