Better be careful with your canoodling this summer, as a key antibiotic used to treat a variety of STIs including chlamydia and gonorrhea, in addition to Lyme disease, may be hard to find. Dr. Judy Stone, who works in western Maryland and Maine, tweeted that the drug had increased from $20 for 500 pills to $3,000 overnight in her local pharmacy.

Drug shortages have been forewarned for years. Recently, the Food and Drug Administration has even had to import cancer drugs and nutritional supplements for premature babies from other countries. This shortage has the potential to not only inconvenience people, but also lead doctors into using more powerful and available antibiotics or people not being able to treat their infections properly. Both situations could lead to bacteria becoming more agile and resistant to antibiotics or spreading more easily thoughout the population.

Doxycycline is also key in protecting America from bioterrorism. The drug is an approved treatment for anthrax, the spore-forming bacteria that was spread through the U.S. Postal Service in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks. By having such a restricted supply of the drug, it may be impossible for the entire country to be infected by a release of anthrax.

#Doxycycline price jumped from $20/500 caps to ~$3000/500 per my local pharmacy. #drugshortage #pricegouging cc #EIN @marynmck @ameshaa

— Judy Stone (@DrJudyStone) May 31, 2013

Four companies produce doxycycline in the U.S. and, according to the FDA, one company reported manufacturing delays and another said that increased demands have restricted supplies to contracted customers only. The manufacturer with delays won't have supplies ready for sale until September. With tick season starting around the country, doctors will have to find alternate medications, and people should be warned to act with more precaution.