Azithromycin (Zithromax) is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as respiratory infections, skin infections, ear infections, and sexually transmitted diseases.
Before taking Zithromax
You should not use Zithromax if you are allergic to azithromycin or to similar drugs such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, or telithromycin.
To make sure Zithromax is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
- liver disease;
- kidney disease;
- myasthenia gravis;
- a heart rhythm disorder; or
- a history of Long QT syndrome.
How to take Zithromax?
- Take Zithromax exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. The dose and length of treatment with Zithromax may not be the same for every type of infection.
- Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
- Use Zithromax for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. Zithromax will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.
- 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 missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What should I avoid while taking Zithromax?
Do not take antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium within 2 hours before or after you take Zithromax. This includes Gaviscon, Maalox, Milk of Magnesia and others. These antacids can make azithromycin less effective when taken at the same time.
Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhoea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhoea that is watery or bloody, stop taking Zithromax and call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhoea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Zithromax can make you sunburn more easily. Wear protective clothing and use sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) when you are outdoors.
Zithromax side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Zithromax: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
- diarrhoea that is watery or bloody;
- headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;
- nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
- severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
Common Zithromax side effects may include:
- mild diarrhoea;
- mild stomach pain or upset;
- dizziness; or
- vaginal itching or discharge.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.
What other drugs will affect Zithromax?
Many drugs can interact with Zithromax. Not all possible interactions are listed here. Tell your doctor about all your medications and any you start or stop using during treatment with Zithromax, especially:
- arsenic trioxide, vandetanib, vemurafenib;
- an antibiotic--clarithromycin, erythromycin, levofloxacin, moxifloxacin, pentamidine;
- an antidepressant--amitriptyline, citalopram, clomipramine, desipramine;
- anti-malaria medication--artemether and lumefantrine, chloroquine, halofantrine, mefloquine;
- a blood thinner such as warfarin
- ergot medicines--dihydroergotamine, ergotamine;
- heart rhythm medicine--amiodarone, digoxin, disopyramide, dofetilide, dronedarone, flecainide, ibutilide, procainamide, propafenone, quinidine, sotalol;
- medicine to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting--dolasetron, droperidol, ondansetron;
- medicine to treat a psychiatric disorder--chlorpromazine, clozapine, haloperidol, mesoridazine, pimozide, thioridazine, ziprasidone; or
- migraine headache medicine--sumatriptan, zolmitriptan.
This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with Zithromax, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.
Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.