In my experience, most people end up taking two or three pills instead of the four tetracycline per day essential for proper treatment. Therefore, if you know you are one of these people, then probably you should consider taking the more expensive form of tetracycline.
Side effects of tetracycline include stomach upset, alteration of the normal bacteria in the gut, photosensitivity and yeast infections.
Neither form of tetracycline can be taken by pregnant women. For pregnant women erythromycin is considered the best alternative. Erythromycin 500mg four times a day for seven days is the usual dosage. An alternative is erythromycin 250mg four times a day for 14 days. Directions must be carefully followed as some forms of erythromycin must be taken on an empty stomach to be effective.
For women with chronic yeast infections or those with bad reactions to tetracycline, the alternatives are either erythromycin for seven days as above or sulfamethoxazole one gram twice a day for ten days.
Women with a chronic yeast problem should take acidophilus capsules and possibly an anti-yeast medication such as oral mycostatin tablets along with their treatment.
It is of vital importance to take the whole seven or ten days of medication even if you feel better and hate to take pills.
Dr. Philip Hall recommends treatment for at least ten days instead of seven. He feels the risk of sterility is too great to take any chances. However, Dr. William Bowie feels that there is no proven advantage to taking the medication for longer than seven days.
The incubation period of chlamydia ranges from ten days to several months. It is easier to get rid of chlamydia if the infection is confined to the cervix and has not yet spread up to the uterus and tubes.
Partners And Follow-up
Both you and your partner and all your sexual contacts must be treated. Some doctors have considered making it a reportable disease and it is already in three provinces and nineteen states. Fortunately, to date there have been no cases of chlamydia that are resistant to either tetracycline or erythromycin.
Repeat cultures for chlamydia are suggested four to six weeks after treatment is completed, especially for women who may have not taken all their pills or whose partner did not take all his pills. If you and your sexual partner(s) have all taken the treatment faithfully, then retesting may not be necessary.
TREATING PID: Acute PID caused by chlamydia is a very serious infection and it must be treated promptly and thoroughly. For women with PID treated at home, you need an injection of a drug called cefoxitin or its equivalent, followed by 14 days of doxycycline by mouth. In the hospital, PID caused by gonorrhea and/or chlamydia should be treated with a combination of doxycycline and cefoxitin intravenously for ten days, followed by doxycycline by mouth for ten to 14 days.
The Canadian PID Society stresses bed rest as an important part of treatment. They refer to the work of two world authorities on PID who recommend bed rest and antibiotics as the most effective treatment. Complete bed rest helps to keep the infection from spreading.
In addition, sex will also make the infection much worse, so you must refrain from sex until the infection has completely cleared up.
The best weapons against the insidious chlamydia are information, prevention, proper treatment and correct follow-up.
Any woman with a new pelvic pain or new vaginal discharge or burning on urination should get herself tested for chlamydia right away.
All women at high-risk should be checked routinely, especially teenagers and women under 24. Chlamydia should be part of the routine prenatal work-up and should also be performed prior to the insertion of an IUD. A woman should also be checked again every time she has a new sexual partner.
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