Growing Antibiotic Resistance Forces Updates To Recommended Treatment For Sexually Transmitted Infections
WHO releases new treatment guidelines for chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis
Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are all caused by bacteria and are generally curable with antibiotics. However, these STIs often go undiagnosed and are becoming more difficult to treat, with some antibiotics now failing as a result of misuse and overuse. It is estimated that, each year, 131 million people are infected with chlamydia, 78 million with gonorrhoea, and 5.6 million with syphilis.
Resistance of these STIs to the effect of antibiotics has increased rapidly in recent years and has reduced treatment options. Of the 3 STIs, gonorrhoea has developed the strongest resistance to antibiotics. Strains of multidrug-resistant gonorrhoea that do not respond to any available antibiotics have already been detected. Antibiotic resistance in chlamydia and syphilis, though less common, also exists, making prevention and prompt treatment critical.
When left undiagnosed and untreated, these STIs can result in serious complications and long-term health problems for women, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and miscarriage, and untreated gonorrhoea and chlamydia can cause infertility in both men and women. Infection with chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis can also increase a persons risk of being infected with HIV two- to three-fold. An untreated STI in a pregnant woman increases the chances of stillbirth and newborn death.
How Do I Know If I Have Chlamydia
If you suspect you have chlamydia, your doctor may want to test cervical or penile discharge or urine using one of several available methods.
In most cases of chlamydia, the cure rate is 95%. However, because many women don’t know they have the disease until it has caused serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually active women under age 25 and others at higher risk should be tested for chlamydia once a year during their annual pelvic exam even if they dont have symptoms.
Pregnant women should also be tested as part of their routine lab work.
What Antibiotic Is Used For An Std
Antibiotics In certain circumstances, gonorrhea and chlamydia co-occur, in which case the doctor may give ceftriaxone plus doxycycline or azithromycin. Ceftriaxone is also used to treat Lyme disease.
Ceftriaxone has been reported to cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus, a small vessel that connects the heart to the lungs. If this condition is not treated with medication or surgery, it can lead to heart failure. The most common side effects associated with ceftriaxone are diarrhea, fever, rash, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, cough, shortness of breath.
The combination of doxycycline and penicillin is the treatment of choice for syphilis. This combination therapy clears both primary and secondary infections within weeks. Doxycycline alone will cure a patient of latent syphilis. The drug must be taken daily for at least 10 days after the appearance of symptoms to be effective.
Antibiotics are drugs that kill bacteria. Antibiotics can be natural or synthetic, but they all work by similar mechanisms. They can either kill the bacteria directly or inhibit their growth. Direct killing works best on fast-growing bacteria that don’t hide inside cells like viruses are capable of doing.
You May Like: How Can A Man Get Chlamydia
What Should You Do If You Test Positive For Chlamydia Or Gonorrhea
Testing positive for gonorrhea or chlamydia is a nerve-wracking experience, but its important to stay calm. If you test positive for either STD, seek medical treatment right away. If your symptoms do not improve after taking the prescribed antibiotics, make sure to contact your doctor to discuss other treatment options so you can avoid these serious complications.
Be sure to get tested again once you have completed the full course of antibiotics. Taking another test will help you confirm that the treatment was successful. If you are still testing positive for either gonorrhea or chlamydia after completing your treatment, contact your doctor to discuss your next steps.
You will also need to reach out to your sexual partners as soon as possible after testing positive for chlamydia or gonorrhea. Share your test results with your sexual partners and encourage them to get tested right away. This may be an uncomfortable conversation, but you shouldnt put it off. Telling your sexual partners about your test results right away is the only way to stop the spread of chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Perspectives Of Doxycycline Use In Stis
Recently, oral pre-exposure prophylaxis using a combination of the antiretroviral drugs tenofovir and emtricitabine has been recommended for preventing HIV infection among individuals at high risk, including MSM. In September 2015, the WHO recommended offering PrEP for all persons at substantial risk of HIV infection including MSM. A recent meta-analysis reported that MSM using PrEP were significantly more likely to acquire a N. gonorrhoeae, C. trachomatis or syphilis compared with MSM not using PrEP. Recreational drug use in MSM and the association with sexual risk behaviour have been documented on an international level and in Western Europe, where transmission of HIV and other STIs remains high. This partly explains why MSM are a high-risk STI group. These practices, called ChemSex are defined by the use of certain sexually-disinhibiting recreational drugs before or during sex with the specific purpose of facilitating or enhancing sex.
The questions about doxycycline in prophylaxis of bacterial STIs concern the safety and the risk for acquired resistance. Use of doxycycline in clinical practice to prevent STI, particularly C. trachomatis and syphilis, is still not validated, pending further analysis.
You May Like: Effects Of Having Chlamydia For A Long Time
What Happens If Chlamydia Is Left Untreated
If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to more serious health problems.
In people assigned female at birth, untreated chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease , a condition which can scar the fallopian tubes and lead to infertility.
Chlamydia can also be passed on to babies during birth if the parent has the infection while pregnant.
Why Is It Important To Take Antibiotics Such As Amoxicillin For Chlamydia And Gonorrhea
Its important to treat any STDespecially chlamydia or gonorrheaas quickly as possible. If left untreated, both of these STDs can lead to serious health complications, including:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Life-threatening pregnancy
- Vaginal, rectal, and/or oral infections
The only way to avoid these complications is to seek medical attention immediately after finding out you have tested positive.
You May Like: How Do You Know If Chlamydia Is Gone After Treatment
Pill To Treat Gonorrhea Is Back
Cefiximine Was Available Only in Liquid Form Since 2002
April 30, 2008 — The CDC is getting the word out that a pill to treat gonorrhea is back on U.S. pharmacy shelves.
The CDC says that cefixime is the only pill it recommends for treating what is called “uncomplicated” gonorrhea. That means the sexually transmitted disease has not spread to the blood or central nervous system. The pill form of cefixime has not been available in the U.S. since 2002, although the drug has been available in liquid form.
There’s been pressure to have a pill treatment since gonorrhea has become widely resistant to certain antibiotics .
Studies linking antibiotic resistance and gonorrhea prompted the CDC last year to drop its recommendation of fluoroquinolone antibiotics as a gonorrhea treatment.
John Douglas, director of the CDC’s division of STD prevention, says in a news release that having cefixime pills available again is positive, but “the reality is that many more options are needed to combat the spread of this disease.”
Douglas stressed that the need for “continued development of new gonorrhea drugs is crucial to stay ahead of any drug resistance that could develop and severely affect treatment for the hundreds of thousands of Americans with this disease.”
Cefixime is provided by Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and sold under the brand name Suprax.
When To See A Doctor
If you have symptoms that are associated with gonorrhea, have multiple sexual partners, or have been told by a partner that you have been exposed to gonorrhea, see your doctor.
Your doctor can order lab tests to determine whether or not you have gonorrhea or another STD, and prescribe appropriate treatment.
Gonorrhea requires a medical diagnosis and must be treated in a timely manner.
Because it is a bacterial infection, it requires antibiotics. Since it is a common infection, there are some strains of gonorrhea that are becoming drug-resistant.
If your doctor prescribes antibiotics for gonorrhea, do not stop taking them until you have taken the entire courseeven if you feel betterunless instructed to by your doctor.
Stopping antibiotics before you have taken the whole course can lead to a regrowth of the infection, or can lead to the development of a drug-resistant infection.
Also Check: What Medicine You Take For Chlamydia
What Are The Problems Of Gonorrhea What Antibiotics Cure Chlamydia And Gonorrhea
Untreated gonorrhea can create significant as well as long-term health problems in both females as well as men.
In females, gonorrhea can spread into the uterus or fallopian tubes and also trigger pelvic inflammatory disease . The signs and symptoms might be rather mild or can be very severe and can consist of stomach pain and also high temperature. PID can bring about interior abscesses as well as chronic pelvic discomfort. PID can also harm the fallopian tubes enough to cause the inability to conceive or increase the danger of ectopic pregnancy.
In males, gonorrhea might be made complex by epididymitis. In uncommon situations, this may lead to inability to conceive If left without treatment, gonorrhea can also infect the blood and also trigger shared gonococcal infection . DGI is normally defined by joint inflammation, tenosynovitis or dermatitis. This condition can be deadly.
Sex Partners Need Treatment Too
If you are diagnosed with chlamydia, you will need to tell all of your sexual partners, because they will need the same treatment you are receiving.
In most states, a doctor or other healthcare provider can give you the medicine that your partner or partners will need to take. Then you can deliver it to those partners. This practice is called expedited partner therapy or patient delivered partner therapy.
These options can help a lot if your partner doesnt have a healthcare provider or feels embarrassed about seeking care, says Dr. Dombrowski.
Its natural to feel nervous or upset about having to tell your partner or partners about having an STD. Your healthcare provider can help with this problem. They may even rehearse the conversation with you, says Dombrowksi.
Learning about chlamydia and seeking advice from a healthcare provider about how to discuss it with your partner can help you handle the conversation with less anxiety and more confidence.
Remember, chlamydia is not just common: It is the most common infection reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . You are being helpful, mature, and responsible by telling your partners.
Also Check: Does Urgent Care Test For Chlamydia
Whats The Treatment For Chlamydia
Chlamydia is usually easy to get rid of. Your nurse or doctor will get you antibiotics to treat the infection. Sometimes you only have to take one dose of medication. Another chlamydia treatment lasts for 7 days. Your doctor will help you figure out which treatment is best for you.
If youre treated for chlamydia, its really important for your sexual partners to get treated also. Otherwise, you can keep passing the infection back and forth, or to other people. Sometimes your doctor will give you medicine for both you and your partner.
Treatment Options For Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea will not go away on its own. Since it is a bacterial infection, it must be treated with antibiotics.
The CDC recommended protocol is a single intramuscular dose of ceftriaxone, often with other antibiotics like doxycycline.
Because of the potential for drug resistance, follow-up testing to ensure the infection has been cleared may sometimes be recommended by your healthcare provider.
In some cases, your doctor may suggest testing after 7-14 days and a test of cure again after three months, since reinfection with gonorrhea can be common.
Preventative antibiotic treatment may be recommended for people who are at high risk of complications from gonorrhea or who have recurring infections.
Don’t Miss: How To Treat Chlamydia Without Insurance
What Is The Treatment For Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea can be cured with the right treatment. CDC recommends a single dose of 500 mg of intramuscular ceftriaxone. Alternative regimens are available when ceftriaxone cannot be used to treat urogenital or rectal gonorrhea. Although medication will stop the infection, it will not repair any permanent damage done by the disease. Antimicrobial resistance in gonorrhea is of increasing concern, and successful treatment of gonorrhea is becoming more difficult. A test-of-cure follow-up testing to be sure the infection was treated successfully is not needed for genital and rectal infections however, if a persons symptoms continue for more than a few days after receiving treatment, he or she should return to a health care provider to be reevaluated. A test-of-cure is needed 7-14 days after treatment for people who are treated for a throat infection. Because re-infection is common, men and women with gonorrhea should be retested three months after treatment of the initial infection, regardless of whether they believe that their sex partners were successfully treated.
Home Remedies For Chlamydia
There are several home remedies for chlamydia and a number of websites claim that these home remedies can cure chlamydia. While some of the home remedies have been shown to have antibacterial properties, antibiotics are the only proven cure for chlamydia. It isnt worth the risk of infertility or illness to not treat chlamydia.
If you experience symptoms, some of these home remedies may be effective for symptom relief, but they cannot cure the infection itself.
Also Check: Azithromycin 500 Mg Tablet For Chlamydia
What Happens If You Dont Get Treated For Chlamydia
Even though chlamydia is common and doesnt usually cause any symptoms, it can become a big deal if its not caught and treated early.
Chlamydia can spread to your uterus and fallopian tubes if it goes untreated for a long time. This can cause you to have pelvic inflammatory disease . PID can cause permanent damage that leads to pain, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. So getting tested regularly for chlamydia really lowers your chances of getting PID.
Having chlamydia may increase your chances of getting or spreading HIV.
If you have chlamydia during your pregnancy and dont treat it, you can pass it to your baby when youre giving birth. Chlamydia can also cause eye infections and pneumonia in newborns, and it also increases the risk of delivering your baby too early.
Testing and treatment for chlamydia is quick, easy, and the best way to avoid all of these problems.
What Else Should I Know
People who get chlamydia or gonorrhea once can get it again, so its a good idea to get re-tested for STIs three months after your treatment. Remember that consistent condom use helps protect against many sexually transmitted infections. To learn more about STI screenings and STI prevention check out our STI Screening blog.
Have more questions about chlamydia, gonorrhea, or STIs? Our primary care team is here to help. At One Medical, we aim to provide exceptional care designed around you and your unique health needs. Book an appointment with a provider through our app today or get 24/7 virtual care on demand.
You May Like: How To Get Rid Of Gonorrhea And Chlamydia At Home
Don’t Miss: How Are You Tested For Chlamydia
Is Treatment Different For Pregnant Women With Gonorrhea
Treatment is necessary to prevent disease transmission to, or complications for, the baby.
Gonorrhea in babies often manifests as conjunctivitis, or pink eye. Some states require that all newborns are given antibiotic eye drops, such as erythromycin, as a preventive measure against the disease.
Pregnant women who are diagnosed with gonorrhea should be tested for other STIs as well.
Read Also: Signs You May Have Chlamydia
Parents Have A Role In Chlamydia Prevention
Parents can do two main things to help their kids avoid getting chlamydia and other sexually transmitted infections , says Dombrowski. These two things are:
Don’t Miss: What Happens If Chlamydia Is Left Untreated
Chlamydia: Symptoms & Treatment Options
This is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Although its curable, people who are infected with it become more likely to contract HIV.
Symptoms: Most people who have chlamydia arent aware of it, because it rarely has any symptoms. However, the people who have reported symptoms have complained about painful sexual intercourse, unusual discharge from their genitals, and burning while urinating
Treatment: Chlamydia can also be cured with antibiotics.
Treatment For Gonorrhea Is Quick And Easy Too
The CDC currently recommends a shot of the antibiotic Rocephin and an oral dose of the antibiotic azithromycin, given at the same time, to treat gonorrhea.
Treatment recommendations for gonorrhea have changed over the years as the bacteria that causes gonorrhea, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, has become resistant to a growing number of antibiotics.
Recommended Reading: Chlamydia Treatment Next Day Delivery