Antibiotics tend not to be the type of meds that pharmaceutical companies like to spend lots of money developing because when new ones are produced the medical community tend to lock them down as a last resort for the exact same reasons we get resistant infections like tuberculosis, MRSA, and VRE. As for the newest one, I’ll let James Hamblin at The Atlantic do the talking:
I just got out of a telebriefing with the CDC. The atmosphere was not a jovial one. The words “gonorrhea epidemic” were thrown around in ominous tones. No one was up for hanging out after.
Did you know gonorrhea can kill you? It can, and it’s also tragically effective at making women infertile. According to her journals, my great aunt Mabel was “barren,” and my grandmother always told me it was probably from gonorrhea. The only reason we don’t hear about these awful complications more often — and we instead think of it as a little oops of an infection (“Can I still drink on these antibiotics?” “Yes.” “Cool.”) — is because we’ve been able to kill it early with relative ease.
But over the past decades, gonorrhea has been mowing down our antibiotics. If this was the Olympic 400 IM, gonorrhea would be the Ryan Lochte and our antibiotics would be the guy from Moldova.
The list of effective antibiotics has been dwindling as the bacteria became resistant, and now it’s down to one. Five years ago, the CDC said fluoroquinolones were no longer effective, but oral cephalosporins were still a common/easy treatment. Now injected ceftriaxone is the only recommended effective drug we have left. And it has to be given along with either azithromycin or doxycycline.
Here’s the full statement from the CDC.