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Possible treatment for super gonorrhea found

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health has revealed some possible new treatments for the drug-resistance sexually transmitted disease dubbed 'super gonorrhea.' The two treatments consist of preexisting drugs in new combinations and are showing promise in patients.

The study looked at data from more than 400 gonorrhea patients who had not yet undergone treatment. The subjects included men and women ages 15 to 60. One treatment, which combined injections of gentamicin and oral azithromycin cured all of the patients genital gonorrhea infections. The other treatment was administered in gemifloxacin and azithromyic pills and cured 99.5 percent of the subjects. When it came to throat and rectum infections, both treatments were 100 percent effective. However, both treatments caused patients to experience unwanted side effects, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

"These trial results are an exciting step in the right direction in the fight against drug-resistant gonorrhea," said Gail Bolan, director of the division of STD prevention at the CDC. "But patients need more oral options with fewer side effects."

Bolan went on to underscore how important it is that pharmaceutical companies and researchers find drugs and drug combinations that can maintain the standard of living for gonorrhea patients, without a plethora of adverse side effects. The report also emphasized the need to find a vaccine for the STD.

The study noted that since these findings are so recent, they do not change the official CDC recommendations for treating gonorrhea. The researchers did note that this provides a possible alternative for doctors who cannot use the traditional treatment in patients for whatever reason.

What is drug-resistant gonorrhea?
According to the CDC, antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea is an infection that cannot be cured with the usual drug treatments: Penicillin, sulfonilamides, tetracycline and cephalosporin. A lack of knowledge of the STD has made it difficult for doctors to find a viable alternative.

STD testing is recommended for anyone who is sexually active, and if gonorrhea symptoms occur, the CDC urges patients to cease sexual activity and seek testing. Symptoms include a burning sensation when using the restroom, discharge, bleeding and swelling. Patients may also experience itching and soreness. However, women rarely show indications of an infection, and men don't always have symptoms, making regular STD tests a necessity for anyone who has sex.

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