Syphilis Treatment

Syphilis is easy to cure once detected at an early stage. In later stages, the syphilis infection can still be treated and prevented from further damage to the body but it cannot repair the damage it has already done to the body.

doctor explaining patients syphilis treatmentThe first two stages of syphilis, primary and secondary, are both easy to cure just by taking antibiotics. Penicillin is the most commonly used treatment for syphilis. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should inform their physicians if they need to take alternative antibiotics. Patients who are allergic to penicillin should undergo a penicillin allergy skin testing and desensitization. They may also be prescribed alternative antibiotics by their physician, such as azithromycin or doxycycline.

For those patients who are diagnosed of neurosyphilis (infection of the brain and spinal cord), they will be treated with penicillin doses through an intravenous therapy in a hospital. The syphilis bacteria can possibly be treated, but most of the time, neurosyphilis patients’ treatment only focus on lessening the pain and discomfort.

There are a few things that a patient must remember while under medications.

  1. Avoid or abstain from any sexual contact.
  2. Strictly follow the exact dosage given by the physician.
  3. Let your sexual partner be tested and be treated right away.

Once the medications are done, a follow-up Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test is needed to check if the syphilis infection is already treated successfully.

Antibiotics Side Effects

Women who are taking contraceptives such as pills and patch while under syphilis medication may have a higher chance of getting pregnant. They should inform their OB/GYN for other birth control methods to avoid getting pregnant.

Some people have a certain reaction to antibiotics called the Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction. This is believed to be caused by the toxins released when numerous T. pallidum bacteria are killed by the penicillin antibiotics.