Chlamydia is caused due to an infection by bacteria known as Chlamydia trachomatis. Much like other bacterial infections, infection with Chlamydia is also treated with antibiotics. If taken correctly, a course of antibiotics can cure more than 95% of the infection. In some people, who are likely to be infected with Chlamydia (based on symptoms), the treatment may be started even before the test results. If you have symptoms suggestive of sexually transmitted disease, but your symptoms are uncertain, tests will be done to arrive at a confirmed diagnosis and treatment of the infection. If your tests are positive for Chlamydia, you will be given treatment for it.
The antibiotics used for treating the infection may either be a single dose or a longer course of up to two weeks. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics for treatment of Chlamydia are:
Other antibiotics that are used, sometimes, include ofloxacin, amoxicillin and erythromycin. These drugs are used less often than azithromycin and doxycycline.
It is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations with regards to the dosage duration of treatment. If you do not finish all the prescribed tablets or capsules or do not take the recommended dose, the treatment may not be effective in curing the infection.
Your doctor can advise you about the kind of antibiotic that is the most suitable for you. For instance, pregnant women will not be given antibiotics such as ofloxacin for the treatment of the infection, but alternatives such as azithromycin, amoxicillin and erythromycin.
Antibiotics used to treat Chlamydia may interact with other medications that you take such as combined contraceptive pill and contraceptive patch. Inform your doctor about all your medications (prescription and non-prescription). Women using different methods of contraception should discuss with their doctor about additional contraception that may be needed while on treatment.
The side effects of all these antibiotics are usually mild and may include stomach pain, diarrhoea and malaise. Some people with doxycycline may occasionally develop a skin rash on exposure to an excess of sunlight (photosensitivity).
Sexual partners: An important aspect of the treatment of Chlamydia infection is the treatment of one’s sexual partner as the infection is easily transmitted through intimate sexual contact. Therefore, if you are diagnosed with the infection, all the sexual contacts that you have made in the last six months may be infected and should be treated. Your current sexual partner must mandatorily be tested and treated. Avoid sex until you have finished your course of treatment.