Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection which is transmitted through sex. Common symptoms might include penile or vaginal discharge, but sometimes no noticeable signs may be present.

> Over 40,000 UK cases reported in 2015
> 50% of female cases display no symptoms
> Treatable with prescription antibiotics

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Gonorrhoea Treatment

Gonorrhoea Treatment

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Gonorrhoea is an illness initiated by the presence of a bacterium called neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is transferred from one person to another through sex. The condition is often referred to in slang terms as ‘the clap’, and became more widespread in the UK towards the end of the 20th century.

This is thought by many to be a result of more relaxed attitudes to sex among younger people. The promotion of safe sex practices in the years which followed resulted in instances of the illness decreasing. However, the number of reported cases in the UK increased again in 2015. Public Health England reported over 41,000 thousand diagnoses made at sexual health clinics in England alone (a rise of ten percent on the previous year).

The infection can be spread through vaginal, anal or oral sex. It can also be passed from mother to baby. Gonorrhoea is most common among young people; notably those between the ages of 15 and 30. But it can affect anyone of any age.

Symptoms can include a green or yellow discharge emanating from the penis or vagina, discomfort during urination and episodes of extra vaginal bleeding falling outside the menstrual cycle. But, as many as one in ten male cases and five in ten female cases of the infection may show no visible symptoms at all. Left untreated, gonorrhoea can lead to more severe symptoms, and cause infertility.

Diagnosis is made after testing for the infection, which can be carried out at a GUM clinic or at your GP surgery. Home testing kits are also available for gonorrhoea. During testing, women will usually have a sample taken from their vagina via swab; while men will often be asked to supply a urine sample.

Following positive diagnosis, beginning treatment as soon as possible is recommended, provided the proposed course of treatment is suitable for you.

Until around 30 years ago, doctors would uniformly prescribe penicillin for the treatment for gonorrhoea; however this changed to cefixime when a number of penicillin-resistant strains began to develop. With the emergence of more resilient strains in recent years, doctors now often employ a combination-approach to treatment, consisting of more than one antibiotic agent.

Currently, the first line treatment for gonorrhea in the UK is a one-off antibiotic injection given in combination with a tablet. The injection, however, which is commonly administered into the buttock or thigh, can only be issued by a trained medical professional. This means that the antibiotic injection for gonorrhea is not available to buy online for you to administer yourself.

For those who are unable to take the injection or have a phobia of needles, there is a two tablet course consisting of Suprax and Azithromycin.

Please note that when taking this treatment you will need to refrain from having sex until you have been re-tested after finishing the course, and have cleared the infection.  

It is not possible to purchase treatment for gonorrhoea from our online pharmacy. If you are concerned that you may have contracted an infection, you should contact your doctor or local sexual health clinic.

Page last reviewed:  21/11/2017
Types of Treatment

Types of Treatment

Gonorrhoea is treated by doctors via a short course of antibiotic medication. This is typically very proficient at tackling the infection, and often clears all signs of it in a matter of days.

The first line treatment in the UK for gonorrhoea comprises of two antibiotics. One is given as an injection, and the other as a tablet. This injection will need to be given by a trained health professional however, which means that you can’t buy it and inject the treatment yourself.

Another form of treatment consists of Azithromycin and Suprax, two oral antibiotics. Although this is only recommended for use in cases where the injection is unsuitable or a patient is needle-phobic.

It is important to finish the course of medication prescribed for you, and to get tested again once you have completed treatment, to ensure that the infection has passed. Obviously, you should refrain from engaging in sex during this time.

How do they work?

Antibiotics come in many different forms. They are generally indicated for the treatment of infections caused by bacteria. They work by breaking down the cells of infection-causing bacteria, and restoring balance in the body.

Until recently, doctors would tend to cure gonorrhoea with just one form of antibiotic drug. However, due to the emergence of resistant strains of the infection, many now prescribe a combination treatment involving two antibiotic agents to ensure that infection is sufficiently removed. This is often a combination of azithromycin (otherwise known as Zithromax) and cefixime (Suprax).

What are the side effects?

Although most people using medicines such as these will experience very few or no ill effects, you should take time to acquaint yourself with the possible side effects they may induce, so that you can take the appropriate action in the event that they develop.

These may include: hypersensitivity, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Consult the relevant product page for more detailed information.

Can I take them with other medications?

The mechanism of other medications can have an effect on antibiotics. You should always make certain that you tell your doctor about any additional medicines you may be taking, whether they are prescription, non-prescription or over-the-counter remedies.

Page last reviewed:  21/11/2017
Question and Answers

What’s the difference between this and other antibiotics?

Over the years, some strains of gonorrhoea have developed an immunity to certain antibiotics when used alone. Gonorrhoea treatment may be given as a combination of two antibiotic treatments, to comprehensively rid the body of infection.

Should I take this treatment?

The recommended first line treatment for gonorrhoea in the UK is a combination of an injection and a one-off oral antibiotic. The injection can only be administered by a healthcare professional. If you are able to see a practitioner in person and have this treatment, we advise that you do, as it is the most appropriate course of medicine for gonorrhoea.

The Gonorrhoea Pack we offer should only be used by those patients who are unable to have the first-line injection.

These medicines may not be suitable for use in conjunction with other treatments. If you are using other prescription products or have a history of any medical conditions, you should let your prescriber know, as they may need to issue special instructions or look into possible alternative solutions.

Are there side effects?

Yes. Side effects which have been associated with both of these medicines include headache, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.

Is it right for me?

Speak to your GP in order to find out. They will be able to select the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

You cannot buy gonorrhoea treatment from our site.

Page last reviewed:  21/11/2017
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