[Treatment of mastitis in general practice]

Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2003 Nov 6;123(21):3027-30.
[Article in Norwegian]


Background: This article presents an update on causes and management of mastitis in general practice.

Material and methods: Published articles on the causes and management of mastitis were identified by Medline and Embase searches, and reviewed. In addition, clinical experience from The National Breast-Feeding Centre in Norway is included.

Results and interpretation: Most studies report an incidence of mastitis of less than 20% though major methodological limitations make estimates difficult. Common symptoms of mastitis is a swollen, red, hot and painful breast, and systemic symptoms as fever occur frequently. Mastitis may be inflammatory or caused by microorganisms, and often secondary to milk stasis. Effective milk removal is a most essential part of the treatment and may make antibiotics superfluous. In most cases bacterial mastitis is caused by Staphylococcus aureus resistant to beta-lactamase sensitive antibiotics. Culture of the milk is necessary to determine the infecting organism and its antibiotic sensitivity. When antibiotics are warranted, dicloxacillin or cloxacillin are suggested as first-line drugs. The transfer of dicloxacillin/cloxacillin to breast milk is minimal. In most cases women with mastitis can continue to breast-feed also from the affected breast during treatment.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Breast Feeding / adverse effects
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mastitis / drug therapy
  • Mastitis / microbiology
  • Mastitis / therapy*
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Infective Agents