How Effective Is Doxycycline for Gonorrhea?

Erik J.J. Goserud

When a person gets ill, there may be a variety of reasons behind compromised health. Among these is a bacterial infection, for which it is common for a health care provider to prescribe a prescription antibiotic. One common infection that is largely spread through sexual contact is gonorrhea, and doctors sometimes reach for doxycycline for gonorrhea as a treatment.

Doxycycline side effects may include upset stomach.
Doxycycline side effects may include upset stomach.

Gonorrhea, often referred to as the clap, is caused by an infection of the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoea. This sexually transmitted infection gives rise to alarming symptoms in both males and females. Males may experience symptoms such as swollen genitals, unusual discharge, or the presence of blood in urine. Many females with the clap report symptoms like painful urination, irritation in the genital region, and abnormal bleeding. A person experiencing any of these symptoms should immediately consult a health care provider so that he or she may be treated with an antibiotic, such as doxycycline for gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease.
Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease.

Doxycycline belongs to a class of antibiotics termed tetracyclines. This group of antibiotics targets bacteria by interfering with their reproductive mechanism, hence ceasing the potential for infectious growth. Medical professionals, however, sometime use doxycycline to treat other conditions, including chlamydia, syphilis, prostatitis, and sinusitis.

Doxycycline ceases the potential for infectious growth in individuals with gonorrhea.
Doxycycline ceases the potential for infectious growth in individuals with gonorrhea.

Gonorrhea is most common in young women between the ages of 15 and 30, although due to its infectious nature, any person who is currently sexually active may be susceptible if he or she is active with an infected partner. There are several different treatment options recommended by the Centers for Disease Control in the U.S. consistent with the approach by most health care providers. Doxycycline for gonorrhea is prescribed at a rate of twice daily at 100 milligrams for one week.

Untreated gonorrhea may lead to infertility.
Untreated gonorrhea may lead to infertility.

Among the other treatment options are a single dose of cefixime, ceftriaxone, or ciprofloxacin. There is constant research going on in the field of bacterial research aiming to produce new treatment options in the future. Any antibiotic treatment has the potential risk of allergic reaction or other adverse side effects.

Untreated gonorrhea in pregnant women may cause blindness in newborns.
Untreated gonorrhea in pregnant women may cause blindness in newborns.

Some of the adverse side effects of doxycycline include upset stomach, headache, and extreme photosensitivity. These reactions vary depending on the individual and may range from mild to severe. It is of the utmost importance that a person about to undergo a course of doxycycline for gonorrhea or any other purpose consider all possible adverse effects before agreeing to this treatment option.

Urine samples may be ordered to determine if a patient has gonorrhea.
Urine samples may be ordered to determine if a patient has gonorrhea.

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Discussion Comments

ZipLine

@turquoise-- Doxyxycline is primarily prescribed for chlamydia, not gonorrhea.

Even cipro is not the first line of treatment for gonorrhea nowadays. Other antibiotics like cefixime is preferred. This antibiotic works by destroying bacteria cells rather than preventing them from reproducing.

In case that cefixime and similar antibiotics cannot be found, cipro and doxycycline can be given. Although, as I've said, it's not the primary antibiotic used to treat gonorrhea anymore.

SteamLouis

@turquoise-- I think they're both equally effective. Someone I know was prescribed both for the treatment of gonorrhea and chlamydia. I'm not sure if doxycycline was for the treatment of gonorrhea or the chlamydia, but the antibiotics treated the conditions effectively.

These are general antibiotics that can be given for numerous conditions, so which is prescribed probably just depends on the doctor. If I'm wrong, someone please correct me.

turquoise
Which is more effective for gonorrhea -- ciprofloxacin or doxyxycline?
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