Antibiotic Resistant Gonorrhea
Looks like there is even more bad news on the horizon with regards to treatment for one of the most common STDs in the world: Gonorrhea.
One of the world’s top medical journals JAMA, recently published a study that found up to 7% resistance of Gonorrhea to Cefixime. Cefixime is one of the last oral antibiotics available to treat Gonorrhea.
Treatment failure was not limited to urethral infections but also applies to pharyngeal (throat) and rectal infections.
The US CDC has in fact already taken this into account and since last year has already changed their treatment guidelines to remove Cefixime from their recommendations of first line treatments. The treatment recommendation for Gonorrhea now is an injection of 250mg Ceftrixone AND Azithromycin OR Doxycycline.
There are more than 100 million cases of proven Gonorrhea infections worldwide each year. Since the 1940’s, Gonorrhea has been on a relentless march down the road of antibiotic resistance. At this point in time, Cephalosporins are the only weapons we have left against it. Now, even this weapon is showing signs of losing effectiveness. There is currently 1 new drug being studied but the pipeline of new antibiotics is fast drying up.
From a practical patient point of view, please make sure you visit your doctor for a test of cure after you have been treated for Gonorrhea. You have to make sure the strain you have is not antibiotic resistant and the treatment was a success. If not, you will need second line treatment. This will not only protect you, it will also protect your partner and overall lead to the slower development of antibiotic resistant Gonorrhea.
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About Dr. Tan
Dr. Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2001. His residency was in the two largest public hospitals in Singapore; Tan Tock Seng Hospital and Singapore General Hospital.