Bite Human Treatment
Treatment for human bites usually includes wound irrigation and cleansing, antibiotics, and tetanus vaccine. Surgery may be required to treat more extensive bites.
Treatment options for human bites include:
- Antibiotics for infected wounds
- In some cases, may be prescribed to prevent infection in high risk patients (weak immune system)
- Amoxicillin/clavulanate (Augmentin)
- Ampicillin/sulbactam sodium (Unasyn)
- Cefoxitin (Mefoxin)
- Moxifloxacin (Avelox)
- Wound irrigation
- Rinsing the wound
- Wound cleansing
- Wound exploration
- Wound debridement:
- Removal of dead or dirty tissue
- Removal of foreign bodies in the wound
- Tetanus vaccination
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Narcotic pain medication:
- Surgery to repair damaged tissue
Bite Human Specialist
Bite Human Tetanus
Tetanus is a rare complication of a human bite. Most children born in the US have received three tetanus shots (boosters) in the past, because these boosters are part of the usual vaccination schedule. Additional tetanus boosters are given every 10 years.
Those who require treatment to prevent tetanus include:
- Those who have not had 3 tetanus boosters in the past need a tetanus booster after a skin wound.
- Those who have not received a tetanus booster in the past 10 years need a tetanus booster after a skin wound.
- Those who have dirty wounds need a tetanus booster if they have not received a booster in the past 5 years.
Dirty wounds include:
- Wounds that occur outdoors
- Wounds that contain dirt or foreign material
- Wounds caused by bites
- Tetanus booster:
- A tetanus booster stimulates the immune system to make antibodies against the tetanus toxin.
- A tetanus booster may be given to those who have received 3 tetanus boosters in the past.
- The tetanus booster may be given within 72 hours after the wound occurs.
- Tetanus Immune Globulin (TIG):
Tetanus Vaccine and TIG Recommendations
|History||Clean, Minor Wound||Other Wounds|
|< 3 boosters||give Td||give Td + TIG|
|3 boosters||possible Td||possible Td|
Clean and minor wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 10 years since the last tetanus vaccine. Other wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 5 years since last tetanus vaccine.
Continue to Bite Human Home Care
- Brook I. Management of human and animal bite wounds: an overview. Adv Skin Wound Care. 2005 May;18(4):197-203. 
- Brook I. Microbiology and management of human and animal bite wound infections. Prim Care. 2003 Mar;30(1):25-39, v. 
- Correira K. Managing dog, cat, and human bite wounds. JAAPA. 2003 Apr;16(4):28-32, 34, 37.