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Gastroenterology


Answer 5
  1. Antibiotics. Patients with Whipple’s disease usually have a prompt and impressive response to antibiotic therapy. The optimal antibiotic for the treatment of Whipple’s disease is unknown, but many patients respond to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Penicillin, tetracycline, and erythromycin (among others) have all been shown to be effective agents as well. Patients are often treated for protracted periods of time, and antibiotic use for 6 to 12 months is not uncommon, with some patients requiring longer courses. It should be noted that even with treatment (and after clinical improvement has occurred), patients may still have abnormal small bowel biopsy results for years. Steroids may help with arthritis but will not treat the infection. Chemotherapy, small bowel resection, and transplantation will not cure the infection.

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