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Syphilis treatment

Syphilis is treated with penicillin or other antibiotics. The amount of time you need to be treated for depends what stage of the infection you have. You may need repeat blood tests at 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment to check that the treatment has worked.

After treatment with penicillin, you may feel like you have flu for 24 hours, with a fever, aches and pains. This will soon go away and you don’t need any extra treatment. Rest and drink plenty of fluids.

What if I’m pregnant?

If found early in the pregnancy, syphilis can be treated and reduce the risk of damage to the baby. All women are recommended to have a syphilis test in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy or at the first antenatal visit.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about syphilis, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: June 2017

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Syphilis is a sexually transmissible infection that can be treated and cured with antibiotics. If it is not treated it can affect the brain, spinal cord and other organs. Condoms can prevent transmission.

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