How is rabies treated?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

You must get rabies treatment very soon after you are exposed, before deadly symptoms appear. If you have never been vaccinated for rabies, you will have to have a series of shots over several days to prevent rabies. Immediately, you will get a shot of rabies antibodies, called rabies immune globulin, and a shot of rabies vaccine, which will encourage your body to produce its own antibodies. Then, you will get several more shots of rabies vaccine over the next few weeks. Shots are usually given in the arm. If you have been vaccinated for rabies before, you won't need the immune globulin, just two shots of vaccine.

Once rabies symptoms start, there is no treatment. The disease is almost always fatal.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.