Brand Names: Azithromycin 3 Day Dose Pack, Azithromycin 5 Day Dose Pack, Zithromax, Zithromax IV, Zithromax TRI-PAK, Zithromax Z-Pak
Generic Name: azithromycin (oral/injection)
- What is azithromycin?
- What are the possible side effects of azithromycin?
- What is the most important information I should know about azithromycin?
- What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using azithromycin?
- How should I take azithromycin?
- What happens if I miss a dose?
- What happens if I overdose?
- What should I avoid while taking azithromycin?
- What other drugs will affect azithromycin?
- Where can I get more information?
What is azithromycin?
Azithromycin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What are the possible side effects of azithromycin?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).
Seek medical treatment if you have a serious drug reaction that can affect many parts of your body. Symptoms may include: skin rash, fever, swollen glands, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
- fast or pounding heartbeats, fluttering in your chest, shortness of breath, and sudden dizziness (like you might pass out); or
- liver problems--nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
Call your doctor right away if a baby taking azithromycin becomes irritable or vomits while eating or nursing.
Older adults may be more likely to have side effects on heart rhythm, including a life-threatening fast heart rate.
Common side effects may include:
- nausea, vomiting; or
- stomach pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What is the most important information I should know about azithromycin?
You should not use azithromycin if you have ever had an allergic reaction, jaundice, or liver problems while taking this medicine. You should not use azithromycin if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to similar drugs such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, or telithromycin.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using azithromycin?
You should not use azithromycin if you are allergic to it, or if you have ever had:
- jaundice or liver problems caused by taking azithromycin; or
- a severe allergic reaction to similar drugs such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, or telithromycin.
Azithromycin oral should not be used to treat pneumonia in people who have:
- cystic fibrosis;
- an infection after being in a hospital;
- an infection in the blood;
- a weak immune system (caused by diseases such as HIV/AIDS or cancer); or
- in older adults and those who are ill or debilitated.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- liver or kidney disease;
- myasthenia gravis;
- low levels of potassium in your blood;
- a heart rhythm disorder; or
- long QT syndrome (in you or a family member).
It is not known whether this medicine is effective in treating genital ulcers in women.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Taking azithromycin while breastfeeding may cause diarrhea, vomiting, or rash in the nursing baby.
Azithromycin is not approved for use by anyone younger than 6 months old. Azithromycin should not be used to treat a throat or tonsil infection in a child younger than 2 years old.
How should I take azithromycin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Azithromycin oral is taken by mouth. Azithromycin injection is given as an infusion into a vein, usually for 2 days before you switch to azithromycin oral. A healthcare provider will give you this injection.
You may take azithromycin oral with or without food.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication. Azithromycin will not treat a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Throw away any unused liquid medicine after 10 days.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking azithromycin?
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor before using anti-diarrhea medicine.
Azithromycin could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
What other drugs will affect azithromycin?
Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:
- an antacid that contains aluminum or magnesium--Acid Gone, Gaviscon, Gelusil, Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, Mylanta, Pepcid Complete, Rolaids, Rulox, and others; or
- a blood thinner--warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect azithromycin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about azithromycin.
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