Syphilis is treatable with antibiotics, usually penicillin. If the patient has had syphilis for less than two years, this usually consists of an injection to the bum or a 10-14 day course of antibiotic pills if they are unable to take penicillin. If the patient has had syphilis for more than two years, then three injections of penicillin, spaced one week apart, are administered or a 28 day course of antibiotic pills. More serious cases that affect the brain are usually given daily penicillin injections for two weeks or a 28 day course of antibiotic pills.
Some people experience side effects shortly after treatment, including:
- Muscle and joint pain
These symptoms are usually short-lived.
Patients should avoid sexual contact with anyone until two weeks after their treatment is complete and follow-up testing has confirmed they are free of infection. This is to make sure that the antibiotics have a chance to work and to avoid transmitting the infection to anyone else.
If tested positive for syphilis, it is important that current and past partners (during the last six months) of the patient get tested (and treated) as well.