Gonorrhoea Treatment


The Gonorrhoea treatment contains two antibiotic medications, Azithromycin and Suprax.


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PLEASE NOTE: This treatment is not available through our online pharmacy service. This page is for information only. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms related to the condition(s) this medication treats, we strongly recommend that you see your GP in person.

The Gonorrhoea treatment contains a combination of two antibiotics: Azithromycin and Suprax. These are taken as a one-off dose for the medication of certain strains of gonorrhoea. Symptoms of infection will then usually begin to clear up in a matter of days. Although they are both antibiotic medicines, they function in slightly different ways, performing a dual-layered attack when dealing with the infection. This is why it is important to buy Azithromycin and Suprax tablets for gonorrhea together.

  1. Works in two ways to kill infection
  2. Safe and simple one-time treatment
  3. Gets to work quickly

Colloquially referred to as ‘the clap’, gonorrhoea is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the UK, with around 25-30,000 cases being reported at NHS GUM clinics on an annual basis. It is a bacterial infection found in semen and vaginal fluid, and is therefore spread through unprotected forms of vaginal, anal or oral sex. The shared use of sex toys is a possible method of transmission too. It can also be passed down from mother to child if present during pregnancy.

The condition can often be asymptomatic; one in ten male cases and as many as half of all female cases will notice no visible signs of infection. However, those who do experience symptoms may notice a vaginal or penile discharge (this might be yellow or green), and pain during urination. Women may experience discomfort in the lower abdominal region, and increased bleeding between or during periods; while men may notice inflammation of the foreskin or testicular pain.

Left untreated, the condition can cause fertility problems, so it is important to get tested for the condition if you think you have gonorrhoea, or suspect you have come into contact with it. Doing so will enable you to curb the development of harmful symptoms and limit the spread of infection.

As the illness is caused by a bacterial infection, gonorrhea is treated with antibiotic medication. Previously, doctors would routinely prescribe penicillin for the condition. However, over the past half-century, the bacteria responsible has become resistant to gonorrhoea treatments in this field, and more impervious strains have developed. Single antibiotics used on an independent basis are now less likely to clear up the infection. As a result, gonorrhoea is today more commonly treated with a combination of two antibiotics.

The go-to treatment for gonorrhea in the UK is an antibiotic injection, given with an antibiotic tablet. However, the injection for gonorrhea needs to be administered by a trained medical professional.

In certain circumstances a combination of two tablets is used to treat gonorrhoea. Azithromycin and Suprax work in different ways to neutralise the infection. Bacterial cells need to perform certain functions in order to spread, and remain active. They need to: produce chemicals which enable them to maintain cellular structure and remain intact; and they also need to generate self-sustaining proteins, in order to multiply and increase in number.

The active constituent in Suprax is a compound called cefixime. This disrupts the stability of bacterial cell membranes, and creates gaps. As a result, cells cannot stop their contents from seeping out, and cannot stop opposing substances from getting in.

Azithromycin negates the bacteria’s ability to produce an enzyme which it needs to replicate itself. Once the growth of the bacteria has been stopped, the body’s defences kill off what remains of the infection.

It will be necessary for you to be re-tested after finishing the course to ensure the infection has passed. During this time, you should not engage in sexual contact. 

If you think you may have contracted a gonorrhoea infection, you should make an appointment with your doctor or attend a GUM clinic. They will be able to give you tailored advice and issue a prescription, should it be required.

Active ingredient

Marketed by Sanofi Aventis Suprax contains Cefixime, while Azithromycin contains an active constituent of the same name. These are both antibiotic agents, but they work in slightly different ways.

Cefixime attacks the structure of bacterial cells. It does this by disabling their ability to develop chemicals which they need to maintain consistent cell walls. This leads to the deterioration and eventual expiration of the cells causing infection.

Azithromycin is the generic version of the medication Zithromax, which was originally developed by Pfizer. It inhibits the production of an enzyme which the offending bacteria needs to stay alive and grow. Once the bacteria have been rendered immobile, the immune system is better able to fight the infection and destroy it.

Why it's important to get medical advice

STIs can be a difficult subject to speak about.

But it's important to remember that, if you think that you might have an STI, there are no advantages to not getting tested and seeking medical help. When infections such as gonorrhoea remain untreated, they can cause complications or be passed onto others. So it's vital if you are experiencing the above symptoms or if you have had unprotected sex with someone you know to be infected to speak to a doctor.

Page last reviewed:  09/08/2017


When using the Gonorrhoea Treatment Pack or antibiotics of any kind, it is absolutely vital to adhere to the directions your doctor provides.

You should also familiarise yourself with the information supplied in the leaflet prior to first use. Taking the medicine as prescribed will enable you to get the most out of the treatment and lower the risk of side effects.

  1. Take this treatment as prescribed.
  2. This might be a one off dose consisting of Suprax 400mg (two 200mg tablets) and Azithromycin 1000mg (two 500mg tablets or four 250mg tablets).
  3. Do not drink alcohol before taking this medicine. 
  4. You should also not drink alcohol for a further 48 hours after taking it.
  5. Do not exceed the dose prescribed.
  6. To ensure the infection has passed, we would recommend getting tested again after you have used this treatment. You should wait at least two weeks before doing so.
  7. Refrain from having sex until you have been tested and told you are clear of infection.

Further information can be found in the leaflet provided. If you are still unsure how to take this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Download Azithromycin PDF

Download Suprax PDF

Page last reviewed:  09/08/2017
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:

Side effects & Warnings

Side Effects

If you notice anything unusual or experience side effects when using this treatment, seek medical advice as soon as possible. Side effects associated with these medicines include:

      1.  Azithromycin

Very common (1 in 10 people or more):

Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, flatulence.

Common (1 in 10 people or less):

Loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, pins and needles or numbness, visual impairment, loss of hearing, vomiting, stomach pain or cramps, skin rashes and itching, joint pain, fatigue.

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):

Fungal or bacterial infection, angioedema, hypersensitivity, drowsiness, insomnia, palpitations, shortness of breath, inflammation of the lining of the stomach, constipation, dry mouth, mouth ulcers, hepatitis, dermatitis, sweating, muscle pain, back or neck pain, painful urination, testicular disorder, urticaria, chest pain, facial swelling, fever, feelings of weakness, fluctuating liver enzyme levels and blood levels.

Rare (1 in 1,000 people or less):

Liver or kidney problems.

Very Rare:

Gut infection, haemolytic anaemia, anxiety, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, convulsions, feeling hyperactivity, muscle weakness, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, pancreatitis, discoloration of the tongue and teeth, liver failure, allergic skin reactions.

      2.  Suprax

Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):

Blistering, flu-like symptoms, fever, blood disorder, allergic reaction, diarrhoea, feeling or being sick, stomach pains, indigestion, headaches, dizziness or itchiness.

The information provided here is not comprehensive. A more detailed list of side effects can be found in the leaflets supplied with each medicine.


Taking it with other medicines

The Gonorrhoea Pack may not be suitable for you to use if you are currently taking or have recently taken any of the following: ergotamine, statins, quinidine, cyclosporin, warfarin, cisapride, terfenadine, zidovudine, nelfinavir, rifabutin, alfentanil, antacids, theophylline, digoxin, astemizol or pimozide.

Let your prescriber know if you are taking these or any other medicines during consultation.

Conditions to look out for

When you buy gonorrhoea antibiotics from our online pharmacy, you will be presented with a simple health questionnaire. This forms part of our consultation process, and allows our doctor to review your medical history and suitability for this medication. Make sure you inform the doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you have had, past or present.

These medicines may not be suitable for you if you have a history of: diabetes; liver or kidney problems; bowel disease; severe heart problems; neurological or psychiatric illnesses.

Do not buy or use the gonorrhea treatment pack if you are allergic to antibiotics. In such cases you will need to discuss other treatment options with your GP.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to conceive you should not use this combination of treatment unless explicitly told to by your doctor. If you have any concerns, speak with your GP.

Driving and machinery

This form of treatment should not interfere with your ability to drive or operate machines. However, if at any point you feel dizzy, you should make sure that the episode has passed before attempting to drive.

Lactose intolerance

Azithromycin contains lactose. Therefore if you have an intolerance to some sugars, you should speak to your doctor before using this treatment.

Page last reviewed:  09/08/2017
Please read the patient information leaflet for this medicine fully before use:


Can I still drink alcohol?

No. Alcohol may affect the efficacy of the medicine. You should allow at least 48 hours after using this medicine before drinking alcohol.

Will I still be able to drive?

If you experience no side effects, yes. However if you notice any side effects which may make driving dangerous, you should avoid doing so and contact your nearest doctor or healthcare professional immediately.

Can I use this medicine while pregnant?

No. These medications are not suitable for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Speak to your doctor about alternative treatment in these cases.

How do I store it?

In a cool, dry environment, below 25 degrees, and out of the reach of children.

Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?

Surpax contains cefixime, microcrystalline, phosphate dihydrate, magnesium stearate, hypromellose, cellulose, pregelatinised starch, calcium hydrogen, macrogol 6000 and titanium.

Azithromycin tablets consist of azithromycin dihydrate, croscarmellose sodium (E468), magnesium stearate (E572), microcrystalline cellulose (E460), silicium dioxide, (E551), poloxamer, povidone (E1201), talc, waterfree lactose, hypromellose (E464), hydroxypropylcellulose, macrogol and titanium dioxide (E171).

Do not buy this gonorrhoea antibiotics pack or use it if you are allergic to or unable to tolerate any of the above ingredients, and discuss treatment with your GP instead.

Is it available over the counter?

This treatment is prescription only, which means that a doctor will need to assess your suitability before you are able to use it.

Is it right for me?

If you want to find out if you require gonorrhoea treatment, you should contact your doctor or local sexual health clinic. They will be able to discuss your treatment options with you and provide a prescription if necessary.


Page last reviewed:  09/08/2017
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