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Sexual conditions health centre

Chlamydia - What treatments work for chlamydia?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

If you have chlamydia, treatment with antibiotics will get rid of the infection. You won't need any other treatment.

Key messages about treatment for chlamydia

  • Antibiotics are medicines that kill bacteria. They can get rid of chlamydia in most people.

  • The antibiotics usually used are called azithromycin and doxycycline. Research shows they work well.

  • You take azithromycin as a single dose. So you may find this medicine is the most convenient to use.

  • Some antibiotics may affect a baby in the womb. If you're a woman and you're pregnant, there are other antibiotics you can take.

  • It's important not to have sex until you and your partner have both been treated for chlamydia. That includes having oral sex and having sex using a condom. Otherwise you could pass the infection on again.

  • If you have chlamydia, anyone you've had sex with recently may also have it. Your doctor or nurse will want to make sure that your recent partner or partners also get treatment. You may be asked to contact your last partner and anyone else you've had sex with in the past few months. Or you can ask the staff at your sexual health clinic to do it for you.

We've looked closely at the research and ranked the treatments into categories according to whether they work.

We've looked separately at which treatments are best for pregnant women and which are best for women who aren't pregnant and for men.

  • Treatments for men, and for women who aren't pregnant.

  • Treatments for women who are pregnant.

Treatments for men and for women who aren't pregnant

Treatments that work Treatments that are likely to work Treatments that need further study

Treatments for women who are pregnant

There's been much less research on chlamydia treatment for pregnant women than for other groups of people. And it isn't always clear whether taking antibiotics will prevent infection in your baby, even if taking these drugs seem to clear up your infection.[19]

If you're pregnant, you shouldn't take doxycycline or tetracycline because they can damage your baby's teeth and bones before birth.

Although azithromycin is available over the counter to treat chlamydia, if you're pregnant, it's important that you see your doctor.

Treatments that are likely to work Treatments that need further study



These medicines are used to help your immune system fight infection. There are a number of different types of antibiotics that work in different ways to get rid of bacteria, parasites, and other infectious agents. Antibiotics do not work against viruses.


Bacteria are tiny organisms. There are lots of different types. Some are harmful and can cause disease. But some bacteria live in your body without causing any harm.


You get an infection when bacteria, a fungus, or a virus get into a part of your body where it shouldn't be. For example, an infection in your nose and airways causes the common cold. An infection in your skin can cause rashes such as athlete's foot. The organisms that cause infections are so tiny that you can't see them without a microscope.

For more terms related to Chlamydia


For references related to Chlamydia click here.
Last Updated: March 13, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.
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