Very often, people come across severe infections caused by bacteria. When the immune system does not work properly, there may be several types of bacteria causing severe issues in different parts of the body simultaneously. In this case, the situation may become disastrous and life-threatening.

Zithromax is an effective means to eliminate all the harmful bacteria, cope with infections, and reduce inflammations caused by them.

We provide a detailed overview of Zithromax in this article that includes the characteristics, usage, warnings, and precautions, side effects, and interactions with other medications.

What Zithromax Is

Zithromax (the generic name is Azithromycin) is a strong antibiotic of the macrolide class. It was first approved for medical administration in 1991. As many other antibiotics, Zithromax is effective for a certain class of bacteria only, and it is completely ineffective for viral infections. It is useless as a pain reliever, either.

Zithromax is effective for a variety of bacteria including those of the Streptococcus family. It stops them from growing. Healthcare providers prescribe this medicine for mild and moderate infections, such as:

  • Chest infections (pneumonia);
  • Infections of the nose and throat (e.g. sinusitis);
  • Skin infections;
  • Lyme disease;
  • Sexually transmitted infections;
  • Ear infections in children;
  • Urethritis and cervicitis;
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPM);
  • Chancroid genital ulcers in men.

The medicine is produced in tablets, capsules, and liquids. It can also be applied as injections but in hospitals only.

Recommendations for Use, Dosage, and Overdose

There are some important considerations and recommendations to be concerned while taking Zithromax:

  • The medicine is normally taken once a day, at the same time: it is a prescription medicine, so you need to follow your physician’s recommendations thoroughly.
  • If you have been prescribed to take capsules, consume them either 1 hour before your meals or 2 hours after it. If you have to take the liquid form or tablets, consume them either without food, with a big glass of water, or with food.
  • The medicine is quite helpful for many kinds of infections, and you will feel much better in some days. However, you need to finish the prescribed course because if you skip doses or stop the intake, the infection may come back in a more severe form, and it will be antibiotic-resistant.
  • Mind the most common side effects of Zithromax, such as diarrhea, changes in taste, or headaches, and always talk to your therapist on how to cope with them.

Usually, your healthcare provider will prescribe you to take 500 mg per day and the course of administration will last from 3 to 10 days. That depends on the type of infection and its severity. The doctor can lower the dose in children and those patients who have health issues with kidneys, liver, or stomach.

Sometimes, Zithromax is prescribed to prevent the chest infection when it becomes rather often. In that case, it can be taken during a long term, but only 3 times per week.

How to Take Zithromax

If you have been prescribed to take tablets or capsules, swallow them whole with a glass of water. If it is a liquid, use a syringe or medical spoon to measure the needed amount. Never use the kitchen teaspoon because the amount of the medicine will be incorrect.

The overdose by accident if you have taken an extra dose will not do much harm. However, it can lead to the appearance of side effects. If you are worried, call your pharmacist. In cases of severe overdose or if the side effects become harsh and troublesome, call the doctor or emergency aid immediately.

Precautions and Contraindications

Zithromax (Azithromycin) is usually prescribed both to children and adults. However, there are some kinds of people who cannot take it because of some health issues. To ensure that Zithromax intake is safe for you, talk to your physician if you are suffering from or have ever had such disorders:

  • Heart problems including arrhythmia (irregular heart rate);
  • Allergic reactions to Azithromycin, other antibiotics, or any medicines);
  • Diabetes: Zithromax syrup contains sugar;
  • Liver or kidney disease;
  • Myasthenia (muscle-weakening illness);
  • Severe diarrhea caused by the intake of any antibiotics;
  • Low levels of potassium in blood.

Physicians normally should not prescribe Zithromax for pneumonia treatment if a patient:

  • Has cystic fibrosis;
  • Requires a stay in hospital;
  • Has consistent immune system problems;
  • Suffers from bacteremia;
  • Is elderly or debilitated;
  • Has a hospital-acquired infection.

Zithromax is not used for treating syphilis.

The risks of this medicine intake increase when you have an already existing heart disease, low physical activity levels, smoke, have a high body mass index, or overuse alcohol. In such cases, prescribing other antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, is recommended.

There are certain precautions for a long use of Zithromax in patients with some types of blood or lymph node cancers, especially, in those who have transplants of stem cells.

Zithromax is harmless for an unborn baby, though you need to tell you physician if you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. There is no information about the medicine penetrating into breast milk or about any harm to a nursing baby. Though, you need to inform your doctor if you are breastfeeding.

The medication is not prescribed to children who are younger than 6 months. However, if a baby is older than that but becomes irritable or starts vomiting, call the doctor immediately.

Interactions with Other Drugs and Substances

Zithromax can interact with other medicines and substances. For instance, if you are taking Nelfinavir prescribed to treat HIV, it can increase the possibility of liver problems or hearing disorders. Such blood thinners as Warfarin, for example, when taken together with Zithromax, can increase its effect.

There are some other medicines that interact harmfully with Azithromycin (Zithromax). They are:

  • Phenytoin which is a medication for seizure;
  • Digoxin used for heart problems;
  • Antacids containing aluminum or magnesium;
  • Colchicine which is a medication for a gout.

Many other drugs can interact with Zithromax depending on the individual physical characteristics and issues of patients. They can be over-the-counter or prescription medications, herbal products, food supplements, and vitamins.

You should always inform your doctor if you are taking medicines for arrhythmia, for example, Sotalol or Amiodarone.

It is also worth remembering not to take Zithromax with other medications with the same side effects. You need to inform your physician about any drugs that have caused irregular heartbeat in you. Such types of drugs can include:

  • Other antibiotics, for example, Moxifloxacin;
  • Anti-sickness drugs such as Domperidone;
  • Antidepressants, for example, Citalopram;
  • Antipsychotics that are used to treat some severe mental disorders.
Side Effects

Zithromax has some side effects like most other medicines, so you need to be aware of them and react correctly if you face some of them. The common side effects may happen in 1-2 out of 100 people. If you come across the following conditions, talk to your physician:

  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Feeling dizzy or extremely tired;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Losing appetite or experiencing changes in taste;
  • Headaches;
  • Rash;
  • Vaginitis;
  • Dry skin;
  • Acid reflux.

You should call your doctor immediately if you experience such severe side effects as:

  • Irregular heartbeat;
  • Chest pains;
  • Dark urine and clay-colored stools;
  • Yellowish skin and eyes;
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or temporary hearing problems;
  • Vertigo (unsteadiness on the feet);
  • Severe stomach aches or back pains;
  • Bloody or mucus-containing diarrhea;
  • Serious allergic reactions or anaphylaxis;
  • Tightness in the throat or chest;
  • Swollen mouth, lips, face, throat, or tongue;
  • Wheeziness;
  • Severe skin rash including red, itchy, blistered, swollen, or peeling skin;
  • Having trouble breathing or speaking.
Before You Start Zithromax Treatment

Before using Zithromax, your overall health condition should be taken into account including:

  • Age;
  • Severity and type of the infection you are suffering from;
  • Your reaction to the first intake of this medicine and other similar antibiotics;
  • What kind of disease caused by the bacterial infection should be treated;
  • Other medical issues or disorders you may experience or have experienced in the past.

Many things, such as the dosage and drug form, can depend on these factors. Always speak to your physician and pharmacist before the start of Zithromax intake reporting detailed information about your previous and current health problems. Do not forget to mention the medications you are taking at the moment and your allergic reactions to any similar substances. If needed, your doctor can advise you some alternatives to Zithromax or look for some other way to deal with your disease.

Though the information provided in this article is commonly true and updated, every individual’s organism can react to certain medications or their combinations in a different way. So, all the possible risks and interactions may not be included here. The information is general and overall, and you always need to speak to your physician first before the start of Zithromax treatment.