Gonorrhea: Treatment and Management Considerations for the Male Patient

Brian Dalke, Fourth-Year Pharmacy Student; Timothy Ivers, Fourth-Year Pharmacy Student; Karen K. O'Brien, BS Pharm, PharmD, RPh; Shana Castillo, PharmD, MBA, RPh; Eric Hoie, PharmD, RPh; Kimberley Begley, PharmD, RPh


US Pharmacist. 2016;41(8):41-44. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Gonorrhea is the second most common communicable disease in the United States. From 2010 to 2014, the rate of this sexually transmitted disease increased by 10.5% in the U.S. Cefixime, which was once the first-line agent for the treatment of Neisseria gonorrhoeae, is rapidly waning in efficacy, as are several other cephalosporins. Similarly, fluoroquinolone-resistant strains of N gonorrhoeae have been reported. As a result, the use of these agents has decreased. The CDC currently recommends dual treatment with ceftriaxone and azithromycin for most gonococcal infections. Multidrug-resistant gonorrhea is becoming a serious health threat in the U.S.


Neisseria gonorrhoeae is the second most common communicable disease in the United States, behind Chlamydia trachomatis.[1] The CDC estimates that >800,000 new cases of N gonorrhoeae infection occur every year in the United States.[1] From 2010 to 2014, the national rate of reported N gonorrhoeae infection increased 10.5%, from 100.2 cases to 110.7 cases per 100,000 people (Figure 1).[2] This increase is primarily due to an upsurge in the number of males who contracted N gonorrhoeae.[2]

Figure 1.

Rates of reported cases of gonorrhea in men and women in the United States, 1994–2014.
Source: Reference 2.