What Antibiotics Are Used For Mammary Duct Ectasia?

Mammary duct ectasia is a benign condition marked by the clogging or blocking of lactiferous (milk carrying) duct beneath the nipple. The milk ducts get widened and dilated due to a filling of the fluid. The clogging of the milk ducts causes inflammation and infection in them. This disorder is more common in premenopausal age. It usually remains without symptoms. If the symptoms appear, they are pain and tenderness in the nipple and surrounding area with a thick sticky discharge through the nipple. It does not require treatment in most cases as it settles by itself. Antibiotics, painkillers, and surgery are indicated in a few cases only.

What Antibiotics Are Used For Mammary Duct Ectasia?

What Antibiotics Are Used For Mammary Duct Ectasia?

The antibiotics for mammary duct ectasia are prescribed for 10-14 days to cure the infection resulted from the disease. Most patients feel a relief of the symptoms after the start of antibiotics. It is recommended to complete the dose of antibiotics as prescribed to avoid development of resistance against that particular antibiotic. The antibiotics used for the treatment of mammary duct ectasia are-

Dicloxacillin- it is prescribed when a staphylococcal infection is suspected to treat infections of the breast

Amoxicillin (Augmentin)- this antibiotic is effective in killing both gram-negative and gram-positive microorganisms.

Oxacillin- it is used in the treatment of staphylococcal infections of mammary duct.

Ampicillin- it is best for treating infections by anaerobic bacteria.

Cephalexin- it is prescribed for staphylococcal infection which is caused by gram-positive pathogens.

Clindamycin (Cleocin)- it is used to inhibit bacterial growth without entering the central nervous system.

Vancomycin – it is prescribed for the patients who do not respond to penicillin and who are infected by resistant staphylococci.

Mammary duct ectasia resolves by itself in many cases without treatment. It may require treatment if it causes troubling symptoms. Anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed to control inflammation and pain. These medicines can be acetaminophen or ibuprofen. When antibiotics and painkillers fail to relieve the symptoms of mammary duct ectasia, then surgical removal of the affected duct is recommended. It is rarely required. In this procedure, the affected milk duct is removed near the nipple.

Mammary duct ectasia is a condition characterized by the blocking of milk duct with thick sticky fluid. The fluid may disturb the integrity of the ducts by thinning its lining. The ducts become shorter, widened and dilated. The fluid is thick and sticky which are often discharged from the nipples. The condition improves itself without any treatment. It is a benign condition. It is not known to increase the chances of cancer.

Mammary duct ectasia can develop in any person, male, female or children at any age. Its incidence is most common at the age of 40-50 years of age when a woman is approaching menopause. However, one can develop this condition even after menopause.

The exact cause of mammary duct ectasia is not known. But inverted nipple growing age mostly premenopausal age and smoking are the risk factors that can trigger the condition.

Mammary duct ectasia does not show any sign or symptom. If it represents any symptom; you may experience the following-

  • Discharges from one or both the nipples may appear due to continuous clogging of the duct. The discharge is a dirty and sticky fluid that can be white, green or black in color.
  • It may cause pain and tenderness in the nipple and around the nipple
  • Redness near the nipple and neighboring area may be present. The nipple may turn inward.
  • Hard breast lump or thickening may appear near the blocked duct.


Mammary duct ectasia is a condition characterized by the blocking of milk duct with thick sticky fluid. it improves by itself and does not require treatment in many cases. If the condition does not go by itself, it is treated by antibiotics discussed above, painkillers and in severe cases, by surgery.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 4, 2018

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