In the past decade there has been an increase in the number of sexually transmitted infections in the UK, despite the majority of these being easy to treat and easy to prevent.
Most STIs are caused by micro-organisms such as bacteria, parasites or fungus. This makes them easy to treat, with the majority of people responding well to antibiotics.
Dr Hilary Jones discusses treatments for STIs
Precautions to take if you have an STI
If you have been diagnosed with an STI, it’s important that you inform any sexual partners you’ve had so they can be tested and begin treatment if necessary.
You should avoid having sex whilst you’re infected, unless otherwise advised by your doctor. This will prevent you from infecting your partner with an STI.
Treating STIs with prescription medications
When taking antibiotics, you must ensure you complete your treatment. If your symptoms disappear before you’ve finished your medication, you should continue to take your antibiotics until the end of your course. If you stop taking the medication early, the STI could still be prevalent and symptoms could return, which means the infection will last much longer and you would have to take a potentially stronger course of antibiotics if the STI has gained some resistance to the original medication.
There are a number of prescription medications that cure STIs. The most common antibiotics prescribed to people with STIs are listed below:
Doxycycline is prescribed for people who have contracted chlamydia, gonorrhoea, ureaplasma, non-specific urethritis and mycoplasma genitalium. Doxycycline should be taken with a glass of water and a small meal to reduce nausea.
This medication is available in the form of capsules, tablets, syrup, oral suspension, gel or injection. Doxycycline is effective in lower doses, which means it’s usually prescribed to people who have experienced side effects with other antibiotics.
Azithromycin is one of the world’s biggest-selling antibiotics. It’s prescribed to treat STIs caused by bacterial infections including chlamydia, gonorrhoea, ureaplasma and non-specific urethritis. Azithromycin stays in the body for longer than most other antibiotics, which means courses of treatment are usually shorter and less intensive.
Treatment with Azithromycin usually consists of a single tablet taken just once, one hour before food or up to two hours after eating. It’s a generally well tolerated antibiotic that should show results within three to five days of taking it.
Cefixime is an oral antibiotic used to treat gonorrhoea and mycoplasma genitalium. It can kill bacteria in a single dose, which makes it an effective treatment. Once you’ve taken Cefixime, you should abstain from drinking alcohol for the following 48 hours.
Metronidazole is an antibiotic prescribed for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis and trichomonas vaginalis. It’s usually taken in a low dosage over a seven to ten-day period or in a high dosage just once.
It’s recommended that you take Metronidazole during or after meals and avoid drinking alcohol for the duration of treatment and 48 hours after. Because it’s effective in a low dosage, it means patients prescribed Metronidazole experience fewer side effects.
Aciclovir is an effective prescription treatment for genital herpes. It’s important to note that herpes cannot be cured; only treated, because it is a viral infection. Aciclovir treats the virus, reducing symptoms, boosting healing time and preventing the spread of the virus. It can even force the virus into remission, but no medication can kill the virus.
Aldara, Condyline and Warticon
Aldara, Condyline and Warticon are three prescription treatments for another viral infection, genital warts. Aldara is a cream that is applied to the warts and works together with the body’s immune system to fight off the infection. Condyline is a gel treatment and was the first prescription medication that was approved to treat genital warts, and works as a podophyllotoxin solution. Warticon is a cream version of Condyline gel, and works in much the same way.
Buying STI treatments online
If you’ve been diagnosed with an STI, you’ll understand how important it is to begin treatment as soon as you can. We know it’s not always possible to get a doctor’s appointment straight away. That’s why HealthExpress allows you to buy your medication and receive it the next day, allowing you to begin treating your infection as soon as possible.
You can buy prescription antibiotics online from HealthExpress after completing a quick online consultation with one of our registered doctors. If approved, your prescription will be sent to our registered pharmacy, which will dispense your medication and send it directly to your door via free next-day delivery.