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Sexual Conditions Health Center

Syphilis - Treatment Overview

Prompt treatment of syphilis is needed to cure the infection, prevent complications, and prevent the spread of the infection to others.

  • Antibiotics effectively treat syphilis during any stage.
  • Antibiotic treatment cannot reverse the damage caused by complications of late-stage syphilis, but it can prevent further complications.
  • Follow-up blood tests are required to make sure that treatment has been effective.3
  • Sex partners of a person who has syphilis need to be examined, tested, and treated for syphilis. Antibiotic treatment is recommended for all exposed sex partners.

Penicillin is the preferred drug for treating syphilis. Penicillin is the standard therapy for the treatment of neurosyphilis, congenital syphilis, or syphilis acquired or detected during pregnancy. If you are allergic to penicillin, make sure you tell your doctor. Your doctor will still be able to treat the syphilis but may consult with a specialist on the best antibiotic choice.

What to think about

The treatment of syphilis can be delayed or complicated because its symptoms are very similar to those of many other diseases and are sometimes not recognized. Syphilis has historically been called "the great imitator."

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 07, 2012
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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