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New Treatment Recommendations for Gonorrhea

Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

In April, 2007, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended changes in the established treatment for gonorrhea infections.

Gonorrhea, the sexually transmitted disease (STD) resulting from infection with the bacteria known as Neisseria gonorrheae (also referred to as N. gonorrheae or gonococcus), affects over 339,000 persons each year in the U.S. Previously, a class of antibiotics known as the fluoroquinolones [examples are ciprofloxacin (Cirpo, Cipro XR), ofloxacin (Floxin), and levofloxacin (Levaquin)] was widely used in the treatment of gonorrheal infection. Because of increasing resistance of many tested samples of N. gonorrheae to the fluoroquinolone drugs, the CDC now recommends that only one class of antibiotics, the cephalosporins, be used to treat gonorrheal infections.

The cephalosporins include cefotaxime (Claforan), cephalexin (Keflex, Keftabs), cefaclor (Ceclor), cefoxitin (Mefoxin), ceftazidime (Ceptaz), cefixime (Suprax), and many other antibiotics. Because of increasing resistance to the fluoroquinolones, the use of cephalosporins in the treatment of gonorrhea has already been recommended by the CDC in previous years for certain groups of individuals (those who acquired their infection in Asia, the Pacific Islands, or California, as well as in men who have sex with men (MSM)).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/1/2014