Friday, April 13, 2007

CDC: Forget Cipro When Fighting Gonorrhea

(Headlines) Well that was fast. Doctors should no longer use fluoroquinolones (Cipro and the like) as the standard antibiotic treatment for gonorrhea because the number of cases of antibiotic resistance has soared over the past five years (MMWR).

The alternative is another class of antibiotics, the cephalosporins (Keflex and the like).

Larry Altman starkly sums up the situation in the New York Times:

No new antibiotics for gonorrhea are in the pipeline, officials of the centers told reporters by telephone. “Now we are down to one class of drugs,” said Dr. Gail Bolan, an expert in sexually transmitted diseases at the California Department of Health Services. “That’s a very perilous situation to be in.” (NYT)

But, of course, as Altman notes, it's not just drug-resistant VD we have to worry about. There's drug-resistant tuberculosis, drug-resistant staph infections and a host of other disease-causing germs that have become immune to the effects of powerful antibiotics.

Source: Update to CDC's Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2006: Fluoroquinolones No Longer Recommended for Treatment of Gonococcal Infections (MMWR, April 13, 2007 / 56(14);332-336)

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