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Doxycycline treatment of otosyphilis with hearing loss
  1. Verajit Chotmongkol1,2,
  2. Kittisak Sawanyawisuth1,2,
  3. Kwanchanok Yimtae3,
  4. Thanyaporn Chantarojanasiri1,
  5. Ratchanee Chotmongkol1
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
  2. 2The Research and Diagnostic Centre for Emerging Infectious Disease, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
  3. 3Department of Otolaryngology, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kittisak Sawanyawisuth, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, 123 Mitraparp Road, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand; kittisak{at}


Objectives The recommended treatment of otosyphilis is intravenous penicillin therapy. The response rate varied between 23% and 31%. This treatment needs hospitalisation and is costly, inconvenient and time consuming. Oral doxycycline was tested for its efficacy in otosyphilis.

Method The authors reviewed 19 patients diagnosed as having otosyphilis with hearing loss at the outpatient unit between 2004 and 2008 by oral doxycycline 400 mg/day for 21 days.

Results Of those enrolled patients, 12 patients were male and the mean age is 69.4 years. The hearing was improved in nine patients (47.3%) and the audiogram of seven patients (36.8%) showed improvement. There was no serious side effect of doxycycline.

Conclusion The data suggest that doxycycline may be an effective alternate regimen for otosyphilis.

  • Otosyhilis
  • treatment
  • doxycycline
  • clinical trials
  • epidemiology (clinical)
  • infectious diseases

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  • Funding This research was supported by the Office of the Higher Education Commission, the National Research Council of Thailand and the National Research Project, Khon Kaen University, Thailand.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval The ethics approval was provided by Khon Kaen University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.