Generic Name: Azithromycin

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Zmax is an antibiotic used to treat certain bacterial infections, including pneumonia and sinus infections. Zmax is available as an oral suspension.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Zmax works by stopping the growth of bacteria, thereby treating your infection.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What: In studies, the majority of people being treated with Zmax were shown to be infection-free and people with pneumonia had improved chest x-ray results at their follow-up visit.

    When: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Zmax exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed for the full course of treatment, even if your symptoms improve earlier.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may start to notice an improvement in your symptoms. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider may ask you questions and order tests to assess how well your infection is being treated.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    More common side effects may include: diarrhea or loose stools, nausea, abdominal (stomach area) pain, headache, vomiting.

    Less common side effects may include:

    Serious allergic reactions, with symptoms such as hives, skin rash, sores in your mouth, or skin blisters and peels; trouble swallowing; swelling of your face, eyes, lips, tongue, or throat; or wheezing or trouble breathing.

    Liver problems with symptoms such as feeling tired or weak, loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

    Watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever), even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of Zmax.

    Changes in the electrical activity of your heart, with symptoms such as chest pain, fast or slow heartbeat, shortness of breath, and dizziness or fainting.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Zmax if you are allergic to it, any of its ingredients, or similar antibiotics (such as erythromycin).

    Do not take Zmax if you have a history of jaundice (yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes) or liver problems associated with previous azithromycin use.

    Do not use Zmax to treat viral infections (such as the common cold).

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Zmax. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have heart, kidney, or liver problems; myasthenia gravis (a disease characterized by long-lasting fatigue and muscle weakness); or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

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

    Adults: The recommended dose is a single 2-gram dose.

    Children ≥6 months: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his or her weight.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Zmax exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

    Take Zmax on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Shake the bottle well before taking the medicine.

    Take Zmax within 12 hours after it has been prepared by the pharmacy or you add water to the powder. Discard any remaining solution.

    If you get Zmax as a dry powder, you must add 60 milliliters (1/4 cup) of water to the Zmax bottle and shake to mix it.

    If you are giving Zmax to your child, be sure to use a dosing spoon, medicine syringe, or cup.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not take Zmax with food.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Zmax is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Zmax with warfarin.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

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

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    Zmax requires a single dose. If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate or freeze.

Meet the Pharmacists

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

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