Table of Contents
What is Azithromycin?
Azithromycin (Zithromax) is an antibacterial drug used to treat mild to moderate infections caused by bacteria.
It helps to treat:
- Acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic bronchitis in adults
- Acute bacterial sinusitis in adults
- Uncomplicated skin and skin structure infections in adults
- Urethritis and cervicitis in adults
- Genital ulcer disease in men
- Acute otitis media in pediatric patients
- Community-acquired pneumonia in adults and pediatric patients
- Pharyngitis/tonsillitis in adults and pediatric patients
It is also used in children to treat ear infections, community-acquired pneumonia, and infected throat or tonsils.
To reduce the development of drug-resistant bacteria, Azithromycin should be used only to treat infections that are proven or strongly suspected to be caused by susceptible bacteria.
Who should not take Azithromycin?
Do not take Azithromycin if you:
- have had a severe allergic reaction to certain antibiotics including azithromycin and erythromycin.
- have a history of hepatic dysfunction or cholestatic jaundice that happened with the use of azithromycin.
- It also should not be used in patients with pneumonia who are judged to be inappropriate for oral therapy because of moderate to severe illness or risk factors.
What should I tell my doctor before taking Azithromycin?
Before you take Azithromycin, tell your doctor if you:
- Have pneumonia
- Have cystic fibrosis
- Have known or suspected bacteremia
- Have liver or kidney problems
- Have an irregular heartbeat, especially a problem called “QT prolongation”
- Have a problem that causes muscle weakness
- Have any other medical problems
- Are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. It is not known if Azithromycin will harm your unborn baby
- Are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed. Azithromycin has been reported to pass into breast milk.
- Contact your doctor immediately if you are giving azithromycin to a young child (less than 6 weeks of age) and he or she vomits or becomes irritable when fed.
- Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Also, tell your doctor if you take:
- Blood thinner (warfarin)
- An antacid that contains aluminum or magnesium
What is the dosage and administration for Azithromycin?
- Community-acquired pneumonia, Skin/skin structure (uncomplicated), and Pharyngitis/tonsillitis (second-line therapy): 500 mg as a single dose on Day 1, followed by 250 mg once daily on Days 2 through 5.
- Acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: 500 mg once daily for 3 days OR 500 mg as a single dose on Day 1, followed by 250 mg once daily on Days 2 through 5.
- Acute bacterial sinusitis: 500 mg once daily for 3 days.
- Genital ulcer disease (chancroid): One single 1-gram dose.
- Non-gonococcal urethritis and cervicitis: One single 1-gram dose.
- Gonococcal urethritis and cervicitis: One single 2-gram dose.
- Acute otitis media: 30 mg/kg as a single dose or 10 mg/kg once daily for 3 days or 10 mg/kg as a single dose on Day 1 followed by 5 mg/kg/day on Days 2 through 5.
- Acute bacterial sinusitis: 10 mg/kg once daily for 3 days.
- Community-acquired pneumonia: 10 mg/kg as a single dose on Day 1 followed by 5 mg/kg once daily on Days 2 through 5.
- Pharyngitis/tonsillitis: 12 mg/kg once daily for 5 days.
How should I take Azithromycin?
- Take Azithromycin exactly as your doctor tells you to take it.
- Azithromycin can be taken with or without food.
- If you take Azithromycin Oral Suspension, shake the bottle well just before you take it.
What are the common side effects of Azithromycin?
The most common side effects of Azithromycin are nausea, stomach pain, and vomiting.
What are the possible side effects of Azithromycin?
Azithromycin can cause serious side effects, including:
- Serious allergic reactions: Allergic reactions can happen in people taking Azithromycin even after only 1 dose. Stop taking Azithromycin and get medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms of a severe allergic reaction:
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, face
- Throat tightness, hoarseness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Skin rash
- New onset of fever and swollen lymph nodes
- Liver damage: Liver damage can happen in people who take Azithromycin. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained symptoms such as:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- change in the color of your bowel movements
- Unusual tiredness
- Fever bowel movements
- Dark colored urine
- Abdominal pain or tenderness
- Yellowing of your skin or of the itching whites of your eyes
- Serious heart rhythm changes (QT prolongation): Tell your doctor right away if you have a change in your heartbeat or if you feel faint and dizzy. Azithromycin may cause a rare heart problem known as prolongation of the QT interval. The chances of this happening are higher in people:
- Who are elderly
- With a family history of prolonged QT interval
- With low blood potassium
- Who take certain medicines to control heart rhythm (antiarrhythmics)
- Diarrhea: Tell your doctor right away if you have watery diarrhea, diarrhea that does not go away, or bloody stools. You may experience cramping and a fever.
What are the ingredients in Azithromycin?
Active ingredients: azithromycin dehydrate
Inactive ingredients: dibasic calcium phosphate anhydrous, pregelatinized starch, sodium
croscarmellose, magnesium stearate, sodium lauryl sulfate, hypromellose, lactose, titanium
dioxide, triacetin, and D&C Red #30 aluminum lake
Frequently Asked Questions:
What not to take with azithromycin?
You shouldn’t take antacids, ergotamine, warfarin, ciclosporin, colchicine, digoxin, rifabutin, nelfinavir, or statin medicines with Azithromycin.
Azithromycin can affect your heartbeat, so make sure to tell your doctor if you’re taking medicines that can affect your heartbeat, including:
- Any medicines for an irregular heartbeat such as amiodarone or sotalol
- Antidepressants such as citalopram
- Antipsychotics used to treat mental health conditions
- Some anti-sickness medicines, such as Domperidone
- Antibiotics, such as moxifloxacin
What not to eat while taking Azithromycin?
You shouldn’t eat foods high in acidity, foods high in fiber, alcohol, dairy products, allergens, and sugars while taking Azithromycin.
Can I take Azithromycin before bed?
No, you can’t take Azithromycin before bed. Take them at least 1 hour before food or 2 hours after eating.
What pain reliever can I take with Azithromycin?
You can take pain-killers like paracetamol, ibuprofen or co-codamol with Azithromycin.
Why is Azithromycin given for 3 days only?
Azithromycin is given for 3 days because it is as effective as a 5-day course.
How long does Azithromycin take to work for upper respiratory infections?
Azithromycin can take 3-5 days to work for upper respiratory infections.
Can I take vitamin D with Azithromycin?
Yes, you can take vitamin D with Azithromycin.
How long does Azithromycin take to work for sinus infection?
Azithromycin can take 3-5 days to work for sinus infection.
Can I eat a banana while taking Azithromycin?
Yes, you can eat a banana while taking Azithromycin.
How long does Azithromycin take to work for bronchitis?
Azithromycin can take a few days to work for bronchitis.
How long does Azithromycin take to work?
Azithromycin starts working after you take your first dose and usually needs about 2 to 3 hours to reach its full concentration in your body.
Can I eat chicken while taking Azithromycin?
Yes, you can eat chicken while taking Azithromycin.
How long does Azithromycin take to work for throat infection?
Azithromycin can take 3-5 days to work for throat infections.
Can you eat eggs while taking Azithromycin?
Yes, it is safe to eat eggs while taking Azithromycin.
How long does Azithromycin take to work for pneumonia?
Azithromycin can take 3-5 days to work for pneumonia.
This information is only for educational purposes and not medical advice. Consult a doctor for more information if you want to use this drug.