How is urethritis treated?

Updated: Dec 12, 2018
  • Author: Martha K Terris, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Edward David Kim, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Symptoms of urethritis spontaneously resolve over time, regardless of treatment. Administer antibiotics to prevent morbidity and to reduce disease transmission to others. Treating sexual contacts also prevents reinfection of the index patient.

Antibiotic therapy should cover both gonococcal urethritis and nongonococcal urethritis (NGU). If concomitant treatment for NGU is not provided, the risk of postgonococcal urethritis is approximately 50%. The choice of antibiotics should be based on cost, adverse effects, effectiveness, and compliance. In most situations, optimal treatment is with single-dose therapy administered in the emergency department or the physician's office.


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