Gonorrhea is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States. It is particularly prevalent among young people who are sexually active. There are more than half a million cases of gonorrhea in the United States annually.
Common symptoms of gonorrhea are pain when urinating, vaginal or penile discharge that is white or yellow in color, as well as vaginal bleeding between periods (for women). The affected areas can be the genitals, rectum, or throat. If you are experiencing these symptoms, your doctor might order a urine test or a swab test from the affected areas to confirm the diagnosis or treat you empirically (without testing).
How Is Gonorrhea Treated?
Once a diagnosis of gonorrhea is made, it is usually treated with a one-time intramuscular injection (IM) of 250mg ceftriaxone by a doctor. Ceftriaxone is an injectable antibiotic; it is highly effective against Neisseria gonorrheae, the bacteria that causes gonorrhea.
Usually, this single dose of antibiotic injection is all that is needed to treat gonorrhea. Patients are advised to stop having sex for a week after this treatment has been administered. You can learn more about gonorrhea treatment here.
However, having an in-person doctor’s visit may not be practical for everyone. For example, it may be difficult for you to physically travel to a clinic to get the injection. Physical travel is made even more complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
If this describes your situation, you’ll be pleased to know that you can actually get treated for gonorrhea through telemedicine. This means having a virtual consultation with a doctor from your own home, without the need to travel or go to an urgent care center, which tends to be more expensive than a telemedicine consultation.
An alternative to an injection at a clinic is to take a one-time dose of an oral antibiotic known as cefixime (Suprax). Your doctor can prescribe this medication based on empirical evidence. Empirical evidence means evidence based on what is observable – in other words, the signs and symptoms of gonorrhea. While it is approved to treat gonorrhea, there are some concerns about the efficacy of cefixime against strains of gonorrhea that are resistant.
In most cases, however, cefixime is still highly effective against gonorrhea, which means that you do not have to go to an in-person clinic to receive effective STD treatment. Cefixime (Suprax) can be prescribed remotely and sent to your pharmacy or mailed to you by a mail-order pharmacy. You can avoid all the hassle of traveling to a physical clinic and avoid the risk of exposure. Also, due to the stigma surrounding STDs, some patients may not feel comfortable discussing this with their regular family physician.
The Fastest Way to Get Treated for Gonorrhea
If you or your partner experience any of the symptoms above or are tested positive for an STD, do not delay in getting treatment as this may lead to complications, such as infertility. QuickMD can help you and confidentially assess and treat your STD and send the appropriate antibiotics directly to your pharmacy via phone or video (or chat in many states) – all from the privacy of your home.