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How is Chlamydia Treated?


Updated May 23, 2014

Close up image of woman holding a pill between her fingers just before placing it in her mouth
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Question: How is Chlamydia Treated?

Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. There are two recommended regimens, and several alternate regimens. Which treatment is most appropriate for you will depend on several factors. However, if you think you may have difficulty remembering to take a pill at the same time every day for 7 days, you should ask for a single dose treatment. The trade off is that the single dose regimen may be slightly more expensive.

The two recommended treatment regimens are considered to be equally effective. The alternative regimens may be necessary in some individuals but two are more expensive (Oflaxacin/Levofloxacin), and the third (Erythromycin) may be less effective. This is because Erythromycin makes many people sick to their stomachs, which can affect the way the medication is absorbed.

When you are being treated for chlamydia it is important that your sexual partners are treated as well. If they are not, you could end up passing the infection back and forth between you. You should also abstain from sex for 7 days after the start of treatment in order not to infect your sexual partners. If abstaining is not possible, make certain to use condoms for all sexual encounters – including oral sex.

The drug regimens below are taken from the the Centers for Disease Control 2006 STD treatment guidelines. Remember that only your doctor can say which treatment is right for you.

Recommended Regimens for Non-Pregnant Adults

Azithromycin 1 g orally in a single dose
Doxycycline 100 mg orally twice a day for 7 days

Alternative Regimens for Non-Pregnant Adults

Erythromycin base 500 mg orally four times a day for 7 days
Erythromycin ethylsuccinate 800 mg orally four times a day for 7 days
Ofloxacin 300 mg orally twice a day for 7 days
Levofloxacin 500 mg orally once daily for 7 days

Note: Pregnant women should not take doxycycline, ofloxacin, or levofloxacin, but azithromycin is considered to be both safe and effective. Follow-up is not recommended for non-pregnant patients with chlamydia because of the high efficacy of treatment. However, if you have been diagnosed with chlamydia during pregnancy, you should return to your doctor for a check-up 3 weeks after you’re done with treatment since there are potentially serious consequences for your pregnancy and your unborn child.

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