November 28, 2004

Common Infection May Carry Serious Consequences

Most people fail to recognize symptoms of the most widespread treatable sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States today, or that it may pose serious health risks for both men and women, according to experts.

"Women now know that a chlamydia infection may impair their fertility, for example, but don't realize trichomoniasis also places patients at greater risk for infertility and acquisition and transmission of HIV," said Dr. Sebastian Faro, clinical professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Texas Medical School. "The patient should understand that it puts her at greater risk for acquiring diseases that can do damage and may have no cure."

A new drug, Tindamax(TM) (tinidazole), is available for treating the infection. Studies show the prescription tablets provide greater potency and a longer duration of action compared to conventional treatment with metronidazole (Flagyl).

Signs of trichomoniasis in women can include a yellow, gray or green frothy vaginal discharge, in many cases with a foul odor.

When symptoms are present in men, they may consist of urethral discharge and irritation.

Studies suggest the drug also helps fight infections caused by the waterborne parasite called Giardia duodenalis. Symptoms of giardiasis may include diarrhea, abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating, vomiting, and weight loss.

Copyright Benjamin Franklin Literary and Medical Society Oct 2004