New Answers for Old Questions in the Treatment of Severe Infections from Injection Drug Use

David P. Serota, Theresa Vettese

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hospitalists are increasingly responsible for the management of infectious consequences of opioid use disorder (OUD), including increasing rates of hospitalization for injection drug use (IDU)-associated infective endocarditis, osteomyelitis, and soft tissue infections. Management of IDU-associated infections poses unique challenges: symptoms of the underlying addiction can interfere with care plans, patients often have difficult psychosocial circumstances in addition to their addiction, and they are often stigmatized by the healthcare system. Although there are few randomized trial data to support one particular approach to management, the literature suggests that successful treatment of IDU-associated infections requires appropriate antimicrobial and surgical interventions in addition to acknowledgment and treatment of the underlying OUD. In this narrative review, the best available evidence is used to answer several of the most commonly encountered questions in the management of IDU-associated infections. These data are used to develop a framework for hospitalists to approach the care of patients with IDU-associated infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)606-612
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hospital Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Leadership and Management
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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