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Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Some sexually transmitted illnesses have no cure, but gonorrhea patients can get rid of the disease by taking prescription medications, including azithromycin. A patient should take the full amount of azithromycin prescribed by a doctor to be sure the medicine is able to clear the body of the bacteria. Many people who go for treatment early on and take azithromycin for gonorrhea as instructed will have a high success rate of being cured after one round of pills.
Anyone who has had unprotected sex is at risk of contracting gonorrhea. A person who has contracted gonorrhea may notice symptoms such as vaginal discharge, pain during urination, tender testicles or a sore throat within a couple of days after the sexual encounter with an infected partner. People who have had unprotected sex and suspect they may have contracted gonorrhea should see a doctor as soon as possible for an evaluation. Doctors can take vaginal cultures in women and urethral cultures in men to test for gonorrhea.
If a patient tests positive for the illness, then a doctor may prescribe azithromycin for gonorrhea. A medical professional typically will give a patient between one and five days' worth of pills to take orally. Patients who finish all of their medication and take the pills on time each day have the best chance of getting better. Some doctors may want to see a patient again after treatment to make sure the infection is gone. People taking azithromycin for gonorrhea should avoid having sex until a doctor has confirmed the infection is gone.
Azithromycin can have some side effects, including diarrhea. A patient who experiences this side effect should ask the doctor what types of over-the-counter remedies are safe to treat the diarrhea while taking azithromycin. Other typical side effects can include vomiting, stomach pain and minor skin irritation. More serious side effects of azithromycin include jaundice, swelling throughout the body and trouble breathing. A person who experiences one of the more serious side effects after taking this medication should go to the emergency room or contact a doctor as soon as possible.
Patients who have never used this medication before should discuss their health history openly and honestly with the doctor before taking azithromycin for gonorrhea. A doctor especially needs to know if a patient has liver disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or a kidney disease before prescribing this course of treatment. This medicine also may not be the ideal choice for people who are taking blood thinners. Doctors will often prescribe antibiotics in addition to azithromycin in the treatment of gonorrhea, such as ceftriaxone. This is called dual antibiotic treatment. Medications prescribed for gonorrhea may vary due to drug allergies and/or the severity or persistence of the infection.