Penicillin kills the bacterium and prevents further damage. It will not repair any damage already done. In general:
- One dose will usually cure a person who has had syphilis for less than a year.
- If syphilis has been present for more than a year, more doses are needed.
- A baby born with syphilis needs daily penicillin treatment for at least 10 days.
People who are allergic to penicillin can either be desensitized or can be given alternate antibiotics, such as:
If you have syphilis, avoid sexual relations until treatment is complete and the infection is cleared up. All sex partners should be notified. They will need to get treated as well.