The main symptoms of tetanus are:

  • Muscle stiffness (rigidity)
  • Muscle spasms (involuntary contractions)
  • High temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4F) or above
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)            
Tests to diagnose: 

Doctors diagnose tetanus based on a physical exam, medical and immunization history.


Treatment of tetanus usually includes:

  • Supportive care
  • Medications to control muscle spasms: sedatives, muscle relaxants and neuromuscular blocking agents (NBAs)
  • Antibiotics and tetanus immune globulin to manage the infection ( metronidazole, penicillin)
  • Wound treatment
  • Vaccination