Cellulitis antibiotics can be administered topically, orally, or intravenously. They should only be used when necessary because over usage of antibiotics can increase the risk of acquiring a severe infections.

Good hygiene, a strong immune system, and proper wound care will help prevent an infection so that antibiotics won’t be needed. When antibiotic therapy is needed to treat this type of bacterial infection it is important to take as directed for as long as prescribed to avoid a worse infection.

There are some side effects to antibiotics, which can be managed.

Using Antibiotics For Treatment

Most common, wide spectrum of antibiotics is successful in treating cellulitis, which is a bacterial infection of the skin and underlying tissue. The two most common bacteria that cause cellulitis are staphylococcus (staph) and streptococcus (strep). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus can also cause cellulitis. The type of cellulitis bacteria that are causing the infection determines the antibiotic that is used to treat it. Some of the cellulitis antibiotic options include the following:

  • Penicillin VK
  • Azithromycin
  • Augmentin
  • Cephalexin
  • Dicloxacillin
  • Erythromycin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Cefazolin
  • Clindmycin
  • Ampicillin-sulbactam
  • Vancomycin
  • Cefotetan
  • Cefadroxi
  • Cefuroxime

Most antibiotic therapy will last for 7-10 days and the dosage directions should be followed to avoid a more serious infection like MRSA.

What about Antibiotic Side Effects

Yeast infections are the most common side effect of antibiotics. The risk can be reduced with products (yogurt, supplements, milk, etc.) that contain live acidophilus. More serious side effects can include the throat swelling shut and an increase risk of MRSA. All side effects should be monitored by a healthcare professional. Side effects include the following:

  • Rash
  • Swelling of the throat, tongue, or lips
  • Itching
  • Digestive problems
  • Yeast infection
  • Hives
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting

Antibiotics can interact with other medications so the prescribing doctor should be aware of all the medications that are being taken. Some supplements may also have a negative interaction with some antibiotics, so your doctor will need to be aware of anything that you are taking. Some side effects may to be tolerated when there are not alternative treatments available.

Aggressive Antibiotics Because Of MRSA

Usually, cellulitis is easily treated and doesn’t cause any cellulitis complications. Occasionally bacteria that are causing the infection don’t respond to treatment and MRSA tests will be done. If they are positive, different antibiotics will be necessary. Antibiotics taken for any type of cellulitis can cause side effects.

A break in the skin can cause the bacteria to enter the body and spread to other parts of the body, which can become serious. When there are symptoms of cellulitis it should be treated promptly and in the case of a MRSA infection, it will need to be treated aggressively with antibiotics.


Cellulitis is effectively treated with antibiotics and will generally clear up without complications. MRSA cellulitis is a little more stubborn and will need more careful monitoring to avoid it spreading.