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What Is the Treatment for Gonorrhea?

You can treat gonorrhea easily using antibiotics. Typically, this is a fast and effective way to cure the infection. However, drug-resistant gonorrhea is an increasing concern. People who have been treated recently should limit their sexual activity for one week to avoid transmitting the infection.

Gonorrhea Medication

Medical providers use antibiotics to treat gonorrhea. The CDC recommends dual therapy to cure this sexually transmitted infection (STI). This means you’ll take two drugs to treat your gonorrhea:

  • 250 mg of ceftriaxone (given intramuscularly via injection in a single dose)
  • 1 g of azithromycin (taken orally in a single dose)

Ideally, you should take these medications together on the same day and under direct observation. You shouldn’t ever share these meds with anyone else. Keep in mind that while this treatment is effective for clearing the infection, it cannot undo any damage gonorrhea has caused.

Drug-Resistant Gonorrhea

Certain strains of gonorrhea have developed resistance to the antibiotics commonly prescribed to treat the infection. The number of drug-resistant strains is increasing, and about 30% of new gonorrhea infections every year are resistant to at least one drug.

If you still have symptoms a few days after being treated for gonorrhea, return to your healthcare provider for further testing. Even if you do not have any further symptoms, you should consider getting retested to make sure your infection has cleared.

Post-Treatment Checklist

After you get treated for gonorrhea:

  1. Abstain from sex or use condoms and limit high-risk activities for seven days.
  2. Inform recent sexual partners that they might have been exposed to gonorrhea, and encourage them to get tested.
  3. Get retested in three months.

You can become reinfected with gonorrhea even if you’ve already had it. Unless you’re in a monogamous relationship in which both you and your partner have recently tested negative for STIs, you should use a condom every time you have sex to reduce your risk of getting gonorrhea.

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