Generic Zithromax (Azithromycin)
Zithromax

Zithromax is a macrolide antibiotic to treat infections of upper and low respiratory tract, especially ear infections, pneumonia.

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What is the most important information I should know about azithromycin?

Take all of the azithromycin that has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated.

Take azithromycin on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.

Do not take antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium within 2 hours of taking azithromycin.

What is azithromycin?

Azithromycin is in a class of drugs called macrolide antibiotics. Azithromycin fights bacteria in the body.

Azithromycin is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, tonsillitis, skin infections, ear infections, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Azithromycin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking azithromycin?

Before taking azithromycin, tell your doctor if you have liver disease. You may not be able to take azithromycin, or you may require a lower dose or special monitoring during treatment.

Azithromycin is in the FDA pregnancy category B. This means that it is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant or could become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether azithromycin passes into breast milk. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take azithromycin?

Take azithromycin exactly as directed by your doctor. If you do not understand these instructions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each tablet or capsule with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Take the azithromycin capsules and suspension on an empty stomach, 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.

The azithromycin tablets can be taken with or without food.

Do not take azithromycin close to a dose of an antacid that contains aluminum or magnesium such as Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta, Milk of Magnesia, Pepcid Complete, and others. These antacids may decrease the effects of azithromycin.

To ensure that you get the correct dosage, measure the liquid form of azithromycin with a dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist where you can get one. Shake the suspension well before measuring a dose.

To take the azithromycin (Zithromax)1 gram oral suspension single dose packet:

The entire contents of the packet should be mixed thoroughly with two ounces (approximately 60 mL) of water. Drink the entire contents immediately.

Add an additional two ounces of water, mix and drink to assure complete consumption of dosage.

The single dose packet should not be used to administer doses other than 1 gram of azithromycin. This packet is not for use by children.

Take all of the azithromycin that has been prescribed for you even if you begin to feel better. Your symptoms may start to improve before the infection is completely treated.

It is important to take azithromycin regularly to get the most benefit.

Store this medication at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Throw away any unused suspension after 10 days.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next regularly scheduled dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one as directed. Do not take a double dose of this medication unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of an azithromycin overdose include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort.

What should I avoid while taking azithromycin?

Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Azithromycin may increase the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when exposure to the sun is unavoidable.

What other drugs will affect azithromycin?

Do not take azithromycin close to a dose of an antacid that contains aluminum or magnesium such as Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta, Milk of Magnesia, Pepcid Complete, and others. These antacids may decrease the effects of azithromycin.

Before taking azithromycin, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs:

carbamazepine (Tegretol);

phenytoin (Dilantin);

theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theolair, Theochron, others);

warfarin (Coumadin);

digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);

pimozide (Orap);

triazolam (Halcion);

cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); or

another antibiotic.

You may not be able to take azithromycin, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you are taking any of the medicines listed above.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with azithromycin. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal products.

What are the possible side effects of azithromycin?

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking azithromycin and seek emergency medical attention:

  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); or
  • liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, severe fatigue).
  • Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take azithromycin and talk to your doctor if you experience
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain;
  • unusual dizziness, fatigue, or headache;
  • vaginal yeast infection;
  • a rash; or
  • increased sensitivity to sunlight.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.