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What Are the Best Antibiotics for Chlamydia?

Prescription antibiotics.
An antibiotic capsule.
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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2014
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While there are numerous antibiotics available to treat bacterial infections, certain types are considered to be the best for treatment of chlamydia. The two first-choice antibiotics for chlamydia prescribed by most doctors are azithromycin and doxycycline. Erythromycin, ofloxacin and levofloxacin are all drugs that may also be prescribed, and amoxicillin is sometimes used to treat women who are pregnant. Each medication has pros and cons in regards to dosing regimen, price, and side effects.

Azithromycin is considered one of the two best antibiotics for chlamydia treatment. It is very easy to take, only requiring a single dose, and cures the disease in 95% of cases. People with chronic, recurring cases of chlamydia do particularly well when treated with this drug, and it is considered safe to be used during pregnancy. The disadvantages of the drug are that it tends to be more expensive than other treatments, and may cause nausea or vomiting.

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The second of the most preferable antibiotics for chlamydia is doxycycline. This drug has been used for chlamydia treatment for longer than any of the others and, like azythromycin, has a 95% success rate when taken correctly. The dosage is much less desirable, however, as it must be taken four times a day for seven days, making it more likely patients will not follow the regimen correctly or to completion. It also can cause nausea, vomiting, and yeast infections in women, and should not be taken during pregnancy or breastfeeding. One advantage it does have is that it is less expensive than azythromycin.

There are several other medications which can be prescribed as antibiotics for chlamydia that are known to be effective in treating the disease. Ofloxacin and levofloxacin, two similar drugs, have cure rates comparable to azythromycin and doxycycline, but cost more and require seven day dosing regimens, as well as causing a risk of tendon damage while being used. Therefore, they have little advantage over those other drugs. Erythromycin is another option; it is less expensive than other treatments, and pregnant women can take it, but it is less effective than some of the other drugs, must be taken for seven days, and can cause severe nausea and vomiting. Amoxicillin is also sometimes recommended to treat pregnant women with chlamydia, though its cure rate is not as high as azythromycin and it must also be taken for seven days to be effective.

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Discuss this Article

Grivusangel
Post 1

At the risk of sounding like a prude, you won't need antibiotics for chlamydia if you take precautions before you ever *get* chlamydia! Even the Centers for Disease Control talks about the importance of being monogamous, or at least using good quality condoms consistently, for each sex act.

The CDC also recommends all women under 25 who are sexually active be tested for chlamydia at least once a year, since women will often not show signs of the disease until it has morphed into pelvic inflammatory disease.

At any rate, if you do have to take antibiotics, take the whole prescription and make sure you know your partner.

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