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Sexual Conditions Health Center

Gonorrhea - Medications

Antibiotics, if taken exactly as directed, normally cure gonorrhea infections. If antibiotics are not taken properly, the infection will not be cured. Prompt antibiotic treatment also prevents the spread of the infection and decreases complications, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

Avoid all sexual contact while you are being treated for a sexually transmitted infection (STI). People taking a single dose of medicine should not have any sexual contact for 7 days after treatment to give the medicine time to work. Exposed sex partners need treatment whether they have symptoms or not.

What to think about

There is an increasing number of strains of gonorrhea that can't be killed by (are resistant to) certain antibiotics. If your doctor finds that your gonorrhea is resistant to the drug you are taking, he or she might prescribe another antibiotic to cure the infection. If you continue to have symptoms after you have been treated for gonorrhea, you will need to be retested with a gonorrhea culture to find out whether there is bacterial resistance to the antibiotic you were taking.

Call your doctor if symptoms continue or new symptoms develop 3 to 4 weeks after treatment.

Treatment in a hospital with intravenous (IV) medicines may be needed for women who have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and men who have epididymitis. In many cases, these conditions can be treated outside of the hospital with oral antibiotics and close follow-up by your doctor. For more information, see the topic Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 26, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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