Oral antibiotics work, shorten hospital stays for IV drug users with infections

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People who inject illicit drugs can develop potentially deadly infections of the heart, blood, joints and soft tissues. Typically, such infections require weeks of hospitalization to treat effectively. But a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that drug users who, while in the hospital, started IV antibiotics for serious infections and then finished their courses of treatment at home with antibiotic pills fared just as well as those who stayed in the hospital.