Health officials warn of syphilis drug shortage expected to last into next year

A drug used to treat syphilis is in short supply due to increased demand, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

The shortage of penicillin G benzathine injectable suspension products (Bicillin L-A) will continue into at least the second quarter of 2024, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The drug is the recommended first-line treatment for syphilis and the only recommended treatment for infants with syphilis.

The shortage coincides with an overall increase in syphilis, including among pregnant people and congenital syphilis, MDH says.

More data on the increase of sexually transmitted diseases can be found here.

Public health officials are sharing recommendations for how healthcare providers can prioritize their supply of Bicillin L-A and provide alternative drugs for other infectious diseases.