What's the Treatment for Gonorrhea?

So, you (or your partner) have gonorrhea. The good news is, this common sexually transmitted disease (STD) is easily treated. And you’ll want to get treated as soon as possible. If you don’t, gonorrhea can cause a number of long-term health problems for both women and men.

Gonorrhea Treatment

If you have this STD, your doctor will likely prescribe two antibiotics: ceftriaxone and either azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) or doxycycline (Monodox, Vibramycin).

Ceftriaxone is given as a one-time injection -- usually a dose of 250 milligrams (mg). The other two antibiotics are taken by mouth.

One dose of azithromycin or doxycycline may be enough. If the infection is severe, you might need to take antibiotics for a week or more. Your doctor will likely closely monitor your health during this time.

Combining oral azithromycin with either oral gemifloxacin (Factive) or injectable gentamicin may be helpful if you’re allergic to ceftriaxone. That medication is in a class of drugs known as cephalosporin antibiotics.

Never share your medication. Also, be sure to tell your doctor about any drug allergies you have, especially to antibiotics. Ask him about possible side effects and what to do if you experience any negative ones.

After Treatment

You and your partner should wait at least 7 days after you both finish treatment to resume sexual activity. Your doctor may advise you to follow up for testing to make sure the infection is completely gone.

What If Symptoms Persist?

Unfortunately, some types of gonorrhea bacteria don’t respond to the usual antibiotic treatment. Doctors call this “antibiotic resistance.” They’ve been seeing a rise in these stronger bacteria for several years. If you continue to have symptoms a few days after treatment, see your doctor again. He may prescribe a longer course of different antibiotics

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on April 13, 2017

Sources

SOURCES:

CDC: “Gonorrhea Treatment & Care,” “Gonorrhea: CDC Fact Sheet.”

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “Gonorrhea.”

Mayo Clinic: “Gonorrhea: Diagnosis,” “Gonorrhea Treatment,” “Gonorrhea Prevention.”

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