Spectinomycin Shortage

Advisory Alert

March 9, 2017

*Cette information est seulement disponible en anglais.

Pfizer Canada has recently advised that the production of Spectinomycin has been discontinued globally. The Ministry of Health and Long-term Care is preparing for a shortage and possible complete discontinuation in the availability of this product as their current stockpile expired at the end of February 2017.

Spectinomycin 2g IM plus Azithromycin 1g PO is recommended as an alternative treatment for uncomplicated cervical, urethral or rectal infections caused by susceptible Neisseria gonorrhoeae in persons with severe adverse reaction to penicillin (i.e. anaphylaxis, Stevens Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis) or any allergic reaction to cephalosporin.

At the current time the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Health Canada and the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care are working together to find an alternate supplier for Spectinomycin. However, should an alternate supplier not be found, the recommendations for the treatment of uncomplicated urogenital gonorrhea infections in persons with allergy to penicillin or cephalosporin will be revised.

In the interim, please consult with an infectious disease specialist for treatment of persons with uncomplicated urogenital gonorrhea who have contraindications to recommended treatment and for whom Spectinomycin will no longer be available.

Should you have any questions please contact the Sexual Health Program as per below. I will provide you with further updates as available.

For all reporting, inquiries or comments, please contact:
Sudbury & District Health Unit at 705.522.9200, ext. 482.


Dr. Ariella Zbar

Associate Medical Officer of Health

This item was last modified on March 10, 2017