Buying Azithromycin for Chlamydia in Bangkok, Thailand

Southeast Asia
I was recently in Bangkok and wanted to buy some Azithromycin because chlamydia is the most common STI (sexually transmitted infection) you can get from having unprotected sex. It’s very common that a man carries chlamydia without having any symptoms. And thankfully, it can easily be treated.

When I’m in Bangkok, I always visit the Thai Red Cross Anonymous Clinic, which has been the best place I’ve found in Asia for getting reliable STD testing done cheaper than anywhere else. Everything about how this Red Cross clinic operates is anonymous, and every experience I’ve had there has been professional and courteous. The STD testing in Ho Chi Minh is expensive and cumbersome, and it’s much more convenient and cheaper to take a quick flight to Bangkok for a few days and visit this Red Cross clinic while you’re there.

Chlamydia Treatment
The standard treatment for chlamydia is an oral antibiotic called Azithromycin. When you go to the Red Cross clinic in Bangkok and are tested for chlamydia, the doctor will prescribe Azithromycin for you and your partner with instructions to not have sex for 7 days while you’re on the antibiotic.

To treat chlamydia, a 1000mg dose of Azithromycin is taken orally one time. One dose is 4 pills because each pill is 250mg. Azithromycin is an antibiotic that should be taken on an empty stomach. Do not eat food for a couple hours before and after you take this medicine. And after you take this single dose, do not have sex for 7 days to give the antibiotic time to cure the chlamydia infection.

Azithromycin Medicine
I wanted to buy 3 doses (12 pills) of Azithromycin and compared the costs of the Red Cross clinic versus the local pharmacy:
  • Thai Red Cross Anonymous Clinic charges 276 THB ($8.70 USD) for 3 doses (12 pills)
  • Boots Pharmacy charges 289 THB ($9.12) for 6 pills, which is 578 THB ($18.25 USD) for 3 doses (12 pills)
To compare the true costs, it’s important to factor in the required doctor visit at the Red Cross clinic. To buy medicine from the Red Cross, you are required to pay for a doctor checkup with STD testing to receive your prescription from the pharmacy. The last time I was at the Red Cross clinic in Bangkok, I paid 500 THB ($15.78 USD) to see the doctor and check for an STI from urethra and blood testing, plus one hour of waiting around for the lab results. At the Red Cross clinic, the true cost is 776 THB ($24.50 USD) for everything - doctor visit, STI testing, and medicine. Compare this to walking into any Boots Pharmacy and paying 578 THB ($18.25 USD) for 3 doses of Azithromycin, and Boots is the better value.

The Red Cross clinic is only open during set business hours during the week and requires uncomfortable testing and 2 to 3 hours of your time. Boots Pharmacy has multiple locations all over Bangkok, and many locations are open 24 hours a day. And Boots does not require a prescription for Azithromycin, making the entire transaction only a few minutes of your time.

If you need to have any STD / STI / HIV testing done, it's definitely worth your time and health to visit the Red Cross clinic in Bangkok. But if you don't need any testing, buying Azithromycin for a chlamydia infection at Boots Pharmacy is easy and convenient.

Attached to this post are some pictures of the Azithromycin I purchased at the Red Cross clinic and the local Boots Pharmacy in Bangkok.