You just found out that you may have been exposed to chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease (STD)


1 PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION You just found out that you may have been exposed to chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease (STD)... Now what? Here’s what you can do to take care of your health. Please read this carefully. • You are getting medicine or a prescription for medicine that cures chlamydia. • Your sex partner was treated for chlamydia. One of you might have caught this from the other; sometimes it is difficult to tell who had it first. The good news is that chlamydia is easy to treat. Keep reading carefully to find out how you can take the medicine to take care of your health. What are the symptoms of chlamydia? Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) that you can get from having sex with a person who already has it. You can get chlamydia from having any kind of sex: oral, vaginal or anal. Many people with chlamydia feel fine and do not have any symptoms. They still need treatment. Men may have: Women may have: No symptoms at all. No symptoms at all Discharge (drip) from your Change in your usual vaginal discharge. penis. Pain during sex. Pain and swelling in your testicles (balls). Bleeding or spotting between Pain or discomfort when periods or after sex. urinating (peeing). Pain in lower belly or pelvis. Pain when urinating (peeing). 1

2 What should I do? It is very important that you get treated right away, even if you do not have symptoms. If you do not take medicine to treat chlamydia, you might get sick. If you are a woman, you might not be able to get pregnant in the future. The best way to take care of this disease is to see your own doctor or health care provider right away. Be sure to tell your doctor or health care provider that your sex partner was treated for chlamydia. What if I don’t have a health care provider or have insurance? If you do not have a health care provider or if you do not have insurance, you might be able to receive free care for chlamydia and other STDs at your county health department. Your partner’s health care provider might have written the name and phone number of the county health department clinic at the bottom of this information. If not, you can find the number for your county health department in the telephone book. If you can’t get to a health care provider in the next several days, then you should take antibiotic medicine to cure chlamydia. Your partner might have given you the actual medicine or a prescription that you can take to a pharmacy. See below for instructions on how to take the medicine. What medicines should I take? You are being given one kind of medicine: Take azithromycin (“Zithromax” is another name for azithromycin) to cure chlamydia. Azithromycin is a very safe medicine. Before you take the medicine, please read all of these directions. DO NOT take this medicine if: You are female and have lower belly pain, pain during sex, vomiting or fever. • • You are male and have pain or swelling in the testicles (balls) or fever. • You have one or more painful, swollen joints. • You have ever had a bad reaction, rash, breathing problems or allergic reaction after taking any kind of antibiotic. • You have a serious long-term illness, like kidney, heart or liver disease, or HIV infection. • You are currently taking another prescription medicine. If you have ANY of these conditions, or if you are not sure, then DO NOT TAKE the medicine. DO talk to your health care provider as soon as possible. 2

3 Other important information If you are pregnant, take the medicine, but get a full check-up afterwards. How to take AZITHROMYCIN Usually azithromycin comes in pills, but sometimes it comes as a liquid or as a powder to be mixed with water. No matter whether the medicine comes in pills, liquid or powder, follow the instructions on the label carefully. If you need help taking the medicine, contact the pharmacy or clinic where the medicine was given to you or your partner. Most people will get four pills: If this is what you have, you should take all four pills at the same time, with water. You need to take all four of the pills to cure the infection. Often, azithromycin pills contain 250 mg of the medicine (4 pills = 1000 mg total). However, sometimes azithromycin pills come in different amounts than 250 mg, so be sure to follow the instructions and check with the clinic or the pharmacy if you’re unsure how many to take. Do NOT take antacids (such as Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox) for one hour before or two hours after taking the azithromycin pills. Do NOT share or give this medicine to anyone else! Side effects Some people get a mild upset stomach, diarrhea or vaginal yeast infection after taking this medicine. These usually are mild and don’t last long. If they become more severe, then contact your health care provider to get treatment. Some people vomit up the medicine shortly after taking it. If you vomit up the medicine after you take it, contact your health care provider to get more, or different, medicine. IF YOU HAVE SIGNS OF AN ALLERGIC REACTION, such as trouble breathing, dizziness, throat tightness, swelling of lips or tongue, or hives (very itchy skin bumps or welts), call 911 or go to the Emergency Room immediately! NEXT STEPS (After you take the medicines) Try not to have sex for the next seven days. If you do have sex less than seven days after taking medicine, be sure to use a condom. It takes seven days for the medicine to cure chlamydia. During that time, you could still pass this infection on to a sex partner. Condoms may help prevent spread, but the safest way to make sure you don’t pass the infection on to anyone is to not have sex for seven days. If you have other sex partners, tell them you are getting treated for chlamydia so they can get tested and treated if necessary. Contact your county health department to talk to someone who can help you choose the best way to tell your partners. In special circumstances, the 3

4 county health department might be willing to help contact your partners for you. If they can help, the county health department will NEVER give your name or identifying information to a contact. The county health department will help the person get tested and treated and will answer any questions they have about their own health. Even after you take the medicine, it is very important for you to see a health care provider as soon as you can to get tested for other STDs. People can have more than one STD at a time. Azithromycin will not cure other infections. Having STDs can increase your risk of getting HIV, so make sure to also get an HIV test. People who get infected with chlamydia once often get infected again. It is a good idea to get tested for chlamydia and other STDs three months from now to be sure you did not get another infection. If you have any questions about chlamydia or azithromycin, please call: PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION 971-673-0153 Local 971-673-0178 Fax This document can be provided upon request in an alternate format for individuals with disabilities or in a language other than English for people with limited English skills. To request this publication in another format or language, contact the Public Health Division at 971-673-1222, 971-673-0372 for TTY. OHA 8419 (Rev. 2/15) 4

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