Zithromax

Generic Name: Azithromycin

  • What is Zithromax?

    Zithromax is a macrolide antibiotic that treats the bacterial infections that can cause pneumonia, infections of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sinus infections, throat or tonsil infections, skin infections, infections of the urethra or cervix, genital ulcer disease, or middle ear infections.

  • What is the most important information I should know about Zithromax?

    Like all antibiotics, Zithromax works only against bacteria. It will not cure an infection caused by a virus, such as the common cold or flu.

    Zithromax can cause severe and life-threatening allergic reactions that require immediate medical attention. If you experience any difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or neck, as well as any type of rash or skin reaction, stop taking Zithromax and contact your doctor immediately.

    Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea, although rare, may occur. Contact your doctor right away if you experience stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody stools. Do not treat the diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.

    Zithromax may cause life-threatening irregular heartbeats. Contact your doctor immediately if you notice a change in heartbeat.

    Zithromax may worsen symptoms of a condition called myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by long-lasting fatigue and muscle weakness).

  • Who should not take Zithromax?

    You should not take Zithromax if you have had an allergic reaction to Zithromax, erythromycin, or any other macrolide or ketolide antibiotic.

    Zithromax should not be taken by people with pneumonia who cannot swallow or take medications orally.

  • What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Zithromax?

    Tell your doctor about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Zithromax. Also, talk to your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have liver or severe kidney disease, heart problems, myasthenia gravis, cystic fibrosis, an infection from a hospital or nursing home, an infection in your blood, are hospitalized, elderly, debilitated, or have a weakened immune system.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.

    Acute Bacterial Exacerbations of COPD (Mild to Moderate)

    Adults: The usual dose is 500 milligrams (mg) once a day for 3 days or 500 mg as a single dose on Day 1, followed by 250 mg once a day on Days 2 through 5.

    Bacterial Sinus Infection

    Adults: The usual dose is 500 mg once a day for 3 days.

    Children ≥6 months: Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child based on their body weight.

    Ear Infection

    Children ≥6 months : Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child based on their body weight.

    Pneumonia, Throat/Tonsil Infection, or Skin Infection

    Adults: The usual dose is 500 mg as a single dose on Day 1, followed by 250 mg once a day on Days 2 through 5.

    Children ≥6 months, (pneumonia): Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child based on their body weight.

    Children ≥2 years (throat/tonsil infection): Your doctor will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child based on their body weight.

    Genital Ulcer Disease

    Adults: The usual dose is one single 1-gram (g) dose.

    Gonococcal Urethra and Cervical Infections

    Adults: The usual dose is one single 2-g dose.

    Non-Gonoccocal Urethra and Cervical Infections

    Adults: The usual dose is one single 1-g dose.

  • How should I take Zithromax?

    Zithromax should be taken at the same time every day and can be taken with or without food.

    Shake Zithromax oral suspension well before using it.

    It's important to take the full dosage schedule of Zithromax, even if you're feeling better in a few days. Not completing the full dosage schedule may decrease the drug's effectiveness and increase the chances that the bacteria may become resistant to Zithromax and similar antibiotics. If this happens, Zithromax and similar antibiotics may not work in the future.

  • What should I avoid while taking Zithromax?

    You should not take aluminum- or magnesium-containing antacids with Zithromax.

  • What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Zithromax?

    If Zithromax is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Zithromax with the following: antacids containing aluminum or magnesium, cyclosporine, digoxin, ergotamine or dihydroergotamine, hexobarbital, nelfinavir, phenytoin, terfenadine, or warfarin.

  • What are the possible side effects of Zithromax?

    Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.

    Side effects may include: abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, rash, upset stomach, vaginal pain and itching, dizziness, headache

  • Can I receive Zithromax if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Zithromax during pregnancy and breastfeeding are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of Zithromax?

    If you miss a dose of Zithromax, take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store Zithromax?

    Zithromax tablets and Zithromax oral suspension should both be stored at room temperature. Zithromax oral suspension can be stored at room temperature for up to 10 days, after which any unused portion must be thrown away.

Meet the Pharmacists

I'm Beth Isaac, PharmD. Welcome to PDR Health!

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