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Delaware Health Alert Network #269

June 4, 2012 8:56 am

Health Alert

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) wishes to pass on this important announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the use of Azithromycin for the treatment of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.

Recent Press Coverage Linking Azithromycin to Increased Risk of Sudden Death

Several media outlets have reported on a study that links azithromycin to sudden death. Azithromycin is a commonly used antibiotic, often prescribed to treat respiratory infections, ear infections, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

As the public health agency [i.e. CDC] tasked with researching and developing STD treatment guidelines, we want to take this opportunity to point out that the findings from this study may not necessarily apply to patients who are treated with azithromycin for Chlamydia or gonorrhea. It is important to note that a five day regimen of azithromycin was studied and discussed in recent media reports -- not a single dose regimen as recommended for Chlamydia or dual therapy for gonorrhea.

Do not modify treatment regimens for patients receiving azithromycin for Chlamydia and gonorrhea based on recent media reports. CDC’s guidance for treating Chlamydia and gonorrhea with azithromycin remain as follows:

Recommended Regimen for Treating Chlamydial Infections

  • Azithromycin 1 g orally in a single dose OR Doxycycline 100 mg orally twice a day for 7 days.

Recommended Regimens for Treating Uncomplicated Gonococcal Infections of the Cervix, Urethra, and Rectum

  • Ceftriaxone 250 mg IM in a single dose {OR, IF NOT AN OPTION Cefixime 400 mg orally in a single dose OR Single-dose injectable cephalosporin regimens}
  • PLUS Azithromycin 1g orally in a single dose OR Doxycycline 100 mg orally twice a day for 7 days.

The Sexually Transmitted Diseases Treatment Guidelines, 2010 can be found in its entirety at If you have questions or concerns, please contact 1-800-CDC-INFO.

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