How is leptospirosistreated?

Leptospirosis is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics work by killing bacteria or by stopping them from reproducing and spreading. Different types of antibiotics are effective for treating specific types of bacteria. Antibiotics used to treat leptospirosis include:

  • Amoxicillin (Amoxil)

  • Ampicillin (Omnipen, Polycillin)

  • Ceftriaxone (Rocephin)

  • Doxycycline (Vibramycin)

  • Penicillin

Treatment with oral antibiotics should be started early in the course of leptospirosis. With early treatment, the prognosis for leptospirosis is generally good. In some serious cases, hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics may be needed.

Treatment of leptospirosis also includes:

  • Good nutrition

  • Hospitalization and intensive care when necessary

  • Increased fluids

  • Over-the-counter medicines for fever, headache and nausea

  • Rest

What are the potential complications of leptospirosis?

In some people, leptospirosis can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications. It is important to contact your health care provider if you have symptoms of or have risk factors for leptospirosis. Complications of leptospirosis include:

You can best treat leptospirosis and lower your risk of complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you.


  1. Leptospirosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. Leptospirosis. Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
  3. Leptospirosis. PubMed Health, a service of the NLM from the NIH.
  4. Leptospirosis. The Leptospirosis Information Center.
  5. Tierney LM Jr., Saint S, Whooley MA (Eds.) Current Essentials of Medicine (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.
  6. Feigin RD, Cherry JD, Demmler-Harrison GJ, Kaplan SL (Eds), Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2009.

What is leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a rare bacterial disease caused by bacteria of the genus Leptospira. Humans contract leptospirosis by swallowing contaminated water or food, or through contact with contaminated soil, water or food. Water, soil and food can become contaminated by mixing with animal urine that contains Leptospira bacteria.

Animals that can be infected with Leptospi... Read more about leptospirosisintroduction


What are the symptoms of leptospirosis?

Symptoms of leptospirosis develop anywhere from two to 26 days following exposure to Leptospira bacteria. The average time it takes to develop symptoms is 10 days. In some cases, there may be no symptoms of infection. Symptoms can be moderate to serious and even life-threatening in some cases.

Typical symptoms include Read more about leptospirosissymptoms


What causes leptospirosis?

Leptospira bacteria cause leptospirosis. These bacteria are found in water, food or soil contaminated by infected animal urine, usually in warm and tropical climates. Animals that may be infected include cows, pigs, horses, dogs, rodents, and a variety of wild animals. Humans can become infected by drinking contaminated water and food, or when mucous membranes or broken skin come ... Read more about leptospirosiscauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 6, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Infections and Contagious Diseases

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