Medications

If you have been treated for a sexual assault at the Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre, it is likely that you were given a number of medications to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, nausea and/or pregnancy. We understand that at a difficult stressful time such as this, you may have difficulty remembering all the information that was provided to you.

The following is a brief list of some of our commonly used medications and some additional information for your reference. It is not a substitution for medical advice. Most of the medications are given as a single dose, therefore this information may not be suitable for people who have been prescribed these medications by other health care providers for other reasons.

Antibiotics:

Other:


Azithromycin:
(pronounced a-ZITH-ro-my-sin)

Other names: Zithromax ®

Purpose: To treat or prevent infections

Side Effects:
Get medical help if you have any of these side effects:

  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Rash or hives with intense itching
  • Swelling in the face, mouth or throat
  • Severe diarrhea (watery or bloody)
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Severe vomiting

Less serious side effects:

  • Nausea or stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mild diarrhea or lose stools

Cefixime:
(pronounced sef-IX-eem)

Other names: Suprax®

Purpose: To treat or prevent infections.

Precautions:
Cefixime may cause incorrect results with some urine sugar test used by people with diabetes.

Side Effects:
Get medical help right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Rash, hives or blistering of the skin
  • Swelling in the face, mouth or throat
  • Severe diarrhea (watery or bloody)
  • Severe vomiting

Less serious side effects:

  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Vaginal discharge or itching
  • Mild diarrhea or loose stools
  • Sore mouth or tongue

Doxycycline:
(pronounced dox-e-SY-kleen)

Other names: Dorynx®, Monodox®, Novodoxylin®, Vibramycin®, Vibra-Tabs®

Purpose: To treat infections

How to take this medicine: Take the tablets with food or milk to avoid an upset stomach.

Drugs and foods to avoid:
Avoid taking antacids (such as Di-Gel®, Maalox®, Mylanta® and others), calcium or iron supplements, cholestyramine (Questran®) or cholestipol (Colestid®) within 2 hours of taking doxycycline.

Precautions:
Birth control pills may not work effectively while taking this medication. Use an alternate form of birth control when taking this medication.

Side Effects:
Get medical help right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Rash, hives or blistering of the skin
  • Swelling in the face, mouth or throat

Less serious side effects:

  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Vaginal discharge or itching (could be a yeast infection)
  • Diarrhea
  • Sore mouth or throat
  • Sensitivity to sunlight

Gravol®:

Other names: Dimenhydrinate

Purpose: Prevents or decreases nausea, vomiting and dizziness

How to take this medicine:
Take the tablets about 1/2 hour before taking Plan B. You can take additional doses every 6 hours or as directed by the examiner, until the nausea passes.

Precautions:
This medication can make you drowsy. Do not participate in activities that require alertness if this occurs.

Side Effects:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea

Plan B®

Other names: levonorgestrel, "morning after pill"

Purpose: Prevention of pregnancy

How to take this medicine:
Plan B ®: You should take both tablets as soon as possible, up to 5 days, following a sexual assault when there is a risk of pregnancy.

Precautions:
Women with diabetes should monitor their blood glucose carefully while taking this medication.

Side Effects:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Headache
  • Heavier menstrual bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Less common- vomiting

Hepatitis B Immune Globulin

Purpose: To protect against hepatitis B.

Side Effects:
Get medical help right away if you have any of these side effects:

  • Skin rash, itching or hives
  • Wheezing or trouble breathing
  • Swelling of the face, lips or tongue

Less serious side effects:

  • Pain or swelling at the injection site
Last updated: Thu, 2011-03-10 09:28