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Azithromycin : Drug Information

What‌ ‌is‌ ‌Azithromycin?‌ ‌

Azithromycin is an antibiotic, belongs to the class of drugs called macrolides. Doctors prescribe this medication to treat various bacterial infections such as middle ear infections, throat infections, pneumonia, diarrhea, and other intestinal infections. Doctors also use this medication to treat different sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea infection. Azithromycin is also beneficial in the treatment of malaria. It works by decreasing the production of protein in the body, thereby stopping bacterial growth. It is available in various forms, such as a tablet, an oral suspension solution, an eye drop, and an injection. One can avail of this medication with or without a proper prescription from the doctor.

What‌ ‌to‌ ‌know‌ ‌before‌ ‌taking‌ ‌Azithromycin?‌ ‌

You should avoid taking this medication if you are allergic to it or any of its components or if you have:

  • Faced liver problem or jaundice while you were on this medication
  • Allergic to a similar kind of drugs such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, or telithromycin

To ensure that Azithromycin is safe for you, you should tell your doctor if you have or ever had the following medical issues:

  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Heart rhythm disorder
  • Low potassium level in the body

Expecting women and lactating mothers should consult their doctor before using this medicine.

How‌ ‌to‌ ‌take‌ ‌Azithromycin?‌ ‌

Take medicine exactly as prescribed by the doctor. You should follow all the instructions on the prescription label carefully. Please don’t take it more often than prescribed. Your doctor may prescribe you the dosage of Azithromycin according to your condition and symptoms. It would be best if you try to be consistent throughout the treatment. Azithromycin is available in different forms, such as a tablet, an oral suspension solution, an eye drop, and an injection. The best type and its dosage depend on the infected person. Complete the treatment of Azithromycin thoroughly, even if you start feeling better.

Keep Azithromycin medicine out of children’s reach and store it at room temperature away from heat and moisture. After completion of treatment, dispose of the leftover medication with the help of your pharmacist.

Azithromycin‌ ‌dosage‌

The dosage of Azithromycin prescribed by the doctor is dependent on several factors, such as :

  • The age and weight of the patient
  • Symptoms
  • The seriousness of the condition
  • Other medical issues that the patient is having
  • Other medications that the patient is using
  • How the patient reacted to the first dose of the medication

The doctor may prescribe the dosage of Azithromycin according to the different medical conditions of the patient. The following are some average dose of Azithromycin for various bacterial infections that a doctor can prescribe:‌

Dosage for community-acquired pneumonia, tonsillitis, and skin infections

An initial dose of 500 mg, then after 250 mg, once a day for five days. Your doctor may adjust your amount if he thinks it appropriate.

Dosage for mild-to-moderate bacterial COPD exacerbations

500 mg daily once a day for three days. Your doctor may adjust your amount if he thinks it appropriate.

Dosage for sinus infection

500 mg daily once a day for three days. Your doctor may adjust your amount if he thinks it appropriate.

Dosage for chancroid genital ulcers

One single dose of 1 gram, Your doctor may adjust your amount if he thinks appropriate.

Dosage for urethritis and cervicitis

One single dose of 1 gram, Your doctor may adjust your amount if he considers it suitable.

Dosage for gonococcal urethritis and cervicitis

One single dose of 2 grams, Your doctor may adjust your amount if he thinks appropriate.

Overdose‌ ‌

There are no specific Azithromycin overdose symptoms, but if you ever feel uneasy while taking this medication, you can consult your doctor and seek a medical assistant. You can also call the poison helpline number at 1-800-222-1222.

What‌ ‌to‌ ‌avoid‌ ‌while‌ ‌using‌ ‌Azithromycin?‌ ‌

Don’t take an antacid containing aluminum and magnesium two hours before or after taking Azithromycin. These types of antacids make Azithromycin less effective if taken simultaneously. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. It may cause you to sunburn more easily. You must avoid medicines that can cause irregular heart rhythm or QT prolongation.

Azithromycin‌ ‌side‌ ‌effects‌ ‌

Some of the common side effect symptoms of using Azithromycin are as follows:

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea or vomiting

It is obvious to experience mild side effect symptoms, but if these symptoms bother you so much and are unbearable, you should consult your doctor and ask for medical help.

Stop the medication right there and tell your doctor if you are experiencing the following health issue:

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast or [ounding heartbeats
  • Fluttering in the chest
  • Storage of breath
  • Sudden dizziness
  • The problem in the liver such as nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, tired feeling, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice
  • Any allergic reaction to the body
  • Severe drug reaction- skin rash, fever, swollen glands, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, severe weakness, unusual bruising, or yellowing of your skin or eyes.

What‌ ‌drugs‌ ‌can‌ ‌interact‌ ‌with‌ ‌Azithromycin?‌ ‌

If your doctor is treating you with Azithromycin, he must be knowing all the possible interactions with other medications. It is your responsibility to tell the doctor about all the over the counter medicines you take or taken in the past few days. Some of the following medications which can interact with Azithromycin are:

  • Digoxin
  • Clarithromycin
  • A blood thinner such as Coumadin, Jantoven, warfarin
  • Colchicine
  • phenytoin
  • Herbal products
  • Antacid containing aluminum or magnesium
  • Nutritional supplement
  • Medicine to treat HIV

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