Women discharged from a municipal emergency department with the diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease were surveyed by telephone about their compliance with a standard 10-day regimen of doxycycline. Of the 386 women who completed the survey, 31% reported complete compliance; 28% reported that they did not fill their prescriptions for doxycycline. The most common reasons given for not filling prescriptions were cost, resolution of symptoms, and inconvenience. Forty-one percent reported that they stopped their medication early (average 4.1 +/- 1.4 days). Lack of symptoms, persistence of symptoms, and side effects were the major reasons given for the discontinuation of medications.