Gonorrhea is a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. Due to limited options in terms of antibiotics being used, there is a strong resistance against antibiotics used in treating Gonorrhea. For this reason, any patient under Gonorrhea treatment must follow their doctor’s prescription and dosage to the last step in order to avoid the formation of drug resistance.
The initial treatment for Gonorrhea
In the early days, stopping the Neisseria gonorrhoeae (the bacterium that causes Gonorrhea) is being done through 10 days of treatment. Gonorrhea treatment can either be oral or injection. Because it is too long, most patients are not completing their treatment most of the time. In order to treat Gonorrhea, a dual antibiotic treatment is needed. Today, penicillin, erythromycin, and fluoroquinolones remain to be the top antibiotics being used for the dual antibiotic treatment of Gonorrhea and are partnered with the following:
- Ceftriaxone (Rocephin) – this is used for treating gonorrhea infection because it has great levels of bactericidal inhibiting the growth of bacterial cells
- Azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax) – this drug stops bacterial growth, blocks and dissociates the ribosomes from tRNA in peptidyl transfer ribonucleic acid. It is often partnered with ceftriaxone IM for the dual antibiotic treatment.
- Cefixime (Suprax) – this drug strengthens the effect of penicillin. It is often prescribed for patients who have mild or just had gonorrhea for the first time. It is a good alternative drug for ceftriaxone.
- Doxycycline (Vibramycin, Doxy) – this drug stops the growth of Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacterium and should be used for 14 days. This is being prescribed after the patient had a dose of ceftriaxone because of pelvic inflammatory disease or gonococcal epididymitis.
- Erythromycin ophthalmic (Ilotycin Ophthalmic) – this is the only ointment that is antibiotic in nature, allowed to be used in treating Gonorrhea in the US. There are other ointments but are not recommended such as tetracycline ophthalmic ointments.
Just like any other Sexually Transmitted Diseases or sexually transmitted infections, Gonorrhea doesn’t have many symptoms as well hence it is often left untreated. If you think you are at risk to have a sexually transmitted infection, get screened immediately to prevent complications. When left untreated, Gonorrhea can lead to:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease – is a medical condition characterized by chronic pain in the pelvis, the cause of ectopic pregnancy and abscesses.
- Infertility – men with untreated gonorrhea might find it hard to father a child in the future
- gonococcal infection – this infection is life-threatening and is characterized by fever, dermatitis, tenosynovitis, and arthritis
- HIV – when untreated, gonorrhea can cause the immune system to become weaker hence it can lead to more infections such as HIV
- Newborn death – a pregnant woman infected with gonorrhea bacterium can pass the infection to her newborn. This can lead to the death of the newborn or premature labor that can cause defects.
There is no saying what gonorrhea or Neisseria gonorrhoeae can do if left untreated. Do not wait for your loved ones to suffer. If you think you are at risk, get tested. Abstain from having sexual contact to avoid infecting your partner as well.