Gonorrhoea treatment

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About Product
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by
Mohamed Imran Lakhi Content Administrator GPhC: 2060586 Updated on: 26/05/2020 Next review: 26/11/2020

Do you need testing for Gonorrhoea? Further information on gonorrhoea testing can be found here.

Gonorrhoea treatment

In cases where the first-line treatment for gonorrhoea cannot be given, two antibiotics are given to treat gonorrhoea; Suprax (cefixime) and Azithromycin.

Typically, a person infected with gonorrhoea would receive an injection and an antibiotic tablet. The injection needs to be administered by a healthcare professional. In the event that this is not possible, such as if the patient refuses the injection or they are allergic to any of the ingredients of this treatment, an alternative treatment can be prescribed in the form of two tablets called Suprax (cefixime) and Azithromycin.

Suprax (cefixime)

Cefixime, the active ingredient of Suprax, targets the cellular structure of the bacterial cells which cause gonorrhoea. By preventing the bacteria to produce the chemical needed to retain structural integrity, the cell walls break and succumb to the body's immune system.


Azithromycin works by inhibiting the production of a protein which the bacteria need to survive and reproduce. With this source of energy eradicated, the bacteria becomes weaker against the body's natural defence mechanism.

Both of these treatments work together to treat the infection and help the body's natural immune defences to fight off the invasion.

What is gonorrhoea?

Gonorrhoea is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) which can be passed on through unprotected anal, oral and vaginal sex, sharing sex toys, or passed on from a mother to her child during pregnancy. It is the second most common bacterial STI in the UK, with over 44,000 diagnoses a year.

A person infected with gonorrhoea may not exhibit any symptoms. However, symptoms may occur 2 weeks after being infected. A tenth of infected men and half of the infected women will not experience obvious symptoms. This can make it hard to detect for some people and delay treatment.

Symptoms of gonorrhoea in women include:

  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Pain when urinating
  • Rectal discharge
  • Tenderness in the lower abdomen
  • Vaginal discharge

Symptoms of gonorrhoea in men include:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Inflammation of the foreskin
  • Pain when urinating
  • Penile discharge
  • Rectal discharge
  • Testicular pain

If gonorrhoea is left untreated, it can lead to infertility in both men and women. If you experience any of the symptoms of gonorrhoea or suspect you may have been exposed to the infection, it is important to get tested. You can get tested for gonorrhoea at your local doctors surgery or genitourinary (GUM) clinics. Antenatal clinics may also offer to test for gonorrhoea due to the risks associated with being infected with gonorrhoea while pregnant.

Alternatively, you can order a gonorrhoea testing kit online from Prescription Doctor. Simply provide a sample, post it to our partnered lab - using the included pre-paid envelope - and your results will made available to you via your secure Prescription Doctor account.

How to take?

This treatment is taken in a single dose.

Take 400 mg of Suprax (two 200 mg tablets)

Take 1000 mg of Azithromycin (two 500 mg tablets or four 250 mg tablets)

It is imperative that you complete your course of antibiotics, even if you start to feel better. Stopping antibiotic treatment early can increase the risk of the infection returning, or affect future use of antibiotics. Always follow your doctor's advice.

Gonorrhoea treatment side effects and cautions

All medication carries the risk of side effects. It's important to read the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medication before taking.

Side effects of Azithromycin include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Flatulence
  • Itching
  • Loss of hearing
  • Nausea
  • Rashes
  • Tiredness
  • Visual impairment
  • Vomiting

Side effects of Suprax (cefixime) include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

How should I report my side effects?

If you are worried about any of the above side effects, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

What should I do if I experience an allergic reaction to this medicine?

If you believe you are experiencing an allergic reaction to either medication, seek immediate medical attention. You may need to visit the accident and emergency department of your hospital. If this occurs, make sure you take the packaging to the medication with you so the doctors treating you are aware of what you have taken.

Can I drink alcohol while taking this medicine?

Avoid consuming alcohol as this can reduce the effectiveness of the medication.

Is this treatment suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women?

This treatment may not be suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Speak to our doctors for more advice.

Staying safe with Prescription Doctor

All of our medicines are dispensed from our UK pharmacy and delivered straight to your door in discreet packaging which doesn't give away the contents therein.

Table of contents

Gonorrhoea treatment

What is gonorrhoea?

How to take gonorrhoea treatment

Side effects and cautions

Staying safe with Prescription Doctor

Treatment information

  • Product Name: Gonorrhoea treatment
  • Active Ingredient(s): Cefixime and Azithromycin
  • Manufacturer: Sanofi and Sandoz
  • Administration: Oral
  • Presentation: Tablets
  • Available Strengths: Suprax (200 mg), Azithromycin (500 mg)
  • Exemption: Prescription Only Medication
  • Application: Men and women over 18 with diagnosed gonorrhoea
  • Dosage: One-off dose. 400 mg of Suprax. 1000 mg (1gram) of Azithromycin.
  • Description: Suprax and Azithromycin are antibiotics used to treat gonorrhoea.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Do not consume alcohol while using this treatment.
  • When Pregnant: This treatment may not be suitable
  • When Breastfeeding: This treatment may not be suitable