CAN ALL STDs BE TREATED USING ANTIBIOTICS?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STDs), caused by bacteria, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia, are generally easier to treat and are often curable when treated with the right antibiotics. Those caused by viruses, though manageable, are often not curable. These include Herpes and HIV/AIDS and are treated using antiviral drugs instead of antibiotics.
WHEN AND HOW ARE ANTIBIOTICS ADMINISTERED?
Antibiotic therapy is a mainstay in treating sexually transmitted diseases. Depending on the type of infection your healthcare provider may decide what antibiotics are required. These may then be administered through various means of treatment.
- A single injection,
- A course of pills taken over a few days
- And as a cream/ointment locally applied to the infected area.
DO I STILL NEED TO KEEP TAKING ANTIBIOTICS IF MY SYMPTOMS HAVE RESOLVED?
Antibiotic resistance is a phenomenon where bacteria develop resistance to a certain class of antibiotics. One reason for this resistance development is the non-completion of an antibiotic course. Generally, when a doctor prescribes an antibiotic, they recommend the dose required to completely kill the bacteria. However, most people simply stop taking their medications once their symptoms subside. This gives the remaining bacteria a chance to “learn from their mistakes”, literally, and develop resistance for the next time the same antibiotic is used. Abstain from sex until you test negative to avoid spreading reinfection.
Resistance to antibiotics is real and a prevalent threat in the entire world. It is necessary to complete your antibiotic course for the duration that it is prescribed. Moreover, a resistant infection can be far harder to treat. Even if your symptoms have resolved it is essential that you complete the course of antibiotics as prescribed
WHAT ANTIBIOTICS ARE COMMONLY USED TO TREAT STDs?
The antibiotics prescribed depends on what infection you have. The various antibiotics prescribed for different bacterial STDs are:
- Azithromycin, Doxycycline, and Erythromycin for Chlamydia.
- Ceftriaxone, Cefixime, Ciprofloxacin, and Ofloxacin for Gonorrhea. (In the event of ceftriaxone allergy, Gemifloxacin and azithromycin can be prescribed instead.)
- Ceftriaxone with doxycycline or azithromycin for Gonorrhea and chlamydia
- Penicillin G for Syphilis. Penicillin allergy warrants an exchange with Azithromycin, Doxycycline, Tetracycline or ceftriaxone
HOW TO REMAIN TRULY SAFE FROM STDs?
The best treatment for an STD is to not get the STD in the first place. No matter how good the treatment regimens are, there is no substitute for practicing safe sex. Wearing condoms and getting tested regularly for STDs ensures a safe and healthy sex life for both you and your partner.
Furthermore, many people use STD medication as per their own convenience. It is important to note that both STD and their medications are subjects of great sensitivity because terrible consequences can happen if someone is not careful. Using STD drugs to treat yourself without a doctor’s advice is a terrible idea since a doctor knows what the drug can do to your body. Also, buying and using drugs for STDs off the internet without a prescription is a dangerous practice that can lead to harmful consequences as well.
It is important to stick to the medication your doctor prescribed and get regular consultations with your doctor to ensure a smooth recovery from any disease that you might be suffering from.