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Drugs reference index «azithromycin»

azithromycin


azithromycin

Generic Name: azithromycin (a ZITH roe MYE sin)Brand names: Azithromycin 3 Day Dose Pack, Azithromycin 5 Day Dose Pack, Zithromax, Zithromax TRI-PAK, Zithromax Z-Pak, Zmax, Zithromax IV

What is azithromycin?

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

Azithromycin is used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria, such as respiratory infections, skin infections, ear infections, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Azithromycin may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

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

Do not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to azithromycin or similar drugs such as erythromycin (E-Mycin, Ery-Tab, E.E.S.), clarithromycin (Biaxin), telithromycin (Ketek), or troleandomycin (Tao).

There are many other medicines that can interact with azithromycin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Azithromycin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu. Take azithromycin capsules on an empty stomach 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal. Azithromycin tablets or powder oral suspension may be taken with or without food.

Do not take antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium within 2 hours before or after you take azithromycin. This includes Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta, Milk of Magnesia, Pepcid Complete, and others. These antacids can make azithromycin less effective when taken at the same time.

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

Do not use this medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction to azithromycin or similar drugs such as erythromycin (E-Mycin, Ery-Tab, E.E.S.), clarithromycin (Biaxin), telithromycin (Ketek), or troleandomycin (Tao).

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely use this medication:

  • liver disease;

  • kidney disease;

  • myasthenia gravis;

  • a heart rhythm disorder; or

  • a history of Long QT syndrome.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether azithromycin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take azithromycin?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. The dose and length of treatment with azithromycin may not be the same for every type of infection.

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

To use the oral suspension single dose packet: Open the packet and pour the medicine into 2 ounces of water. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. Do not save for later use. Throw away any mixed oral suspension that has not been used within 12 hours.

To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

Azithromycin capsules must be taken on an empty stomach. Take the capsule at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating a meal. Azithromycin tablets or powder oral suspension may be taken with or without food. Take the tablet or oral suspension with food if the medicine upsets your stomach. Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the infection is completely treated. Azithromycin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu. Store this medication 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. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort.

What should I avoid while taking azithromycin?

Do not take antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium within 2 hours before or after you take azithromycin. This includes Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta, Milk of Magnesia, Pepcid Complete, and others. These antacids can make azithromycin less effective when taken at the same time.

Antibiotic medicines can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it, call your doctor. Do not use any medicine to stop the diarrhea unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Azithromycin can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and sunburn may result. Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.

Azithromycin side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;

  • chest pain, uneven heartbeats;

  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or

  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;

  • stomach pain or upset;

  • dizziness, tired feeling, or headache;

  • nervous feeling, sleep problems (insomnia);

  • vaginal itching or discharge;

  • mild itching or skin rash;

  • ringing in your ears, problems with hearing; or

  • decreased sense of taste or smell.

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.

Azithromycin Dosing Information

Usual Adult Dose for Otitis Media:

Immediate release: 500 mg orally on the first day followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5

Usual Adult Dose for Upper Respiratory Tract Infection:

Immediate release: 500 mg orally on the first day followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5

Usual Adult Dose for Bronchitis:

Immediate release: 500 mg orally on the first day followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5

Usual Adult Dose for Pneumonia:

Community acquired:Oral:Immediate release: 500 mg orally on the first day followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5 for mild infectionsExtended release suspension: 2 g orally once for mild to moderate infectionsIV: 500 mg IV once a day for at least 2 days followed by 500 mg (immediate release formulation) orally once a day to complete a 7- to 10-day course of therapyThe IV dose should be reconstituted and diluted according to the manufacturer's recommendations, and administered as an infusion over not less than 60 minutes.

Usual Adult Dose for Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis:

Immediate release: 500 mg orally on the first day followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5Recommended as an alternative (second line therapy) in patients who cannot use first line therapy

Usual Adult Dose for Sinusitis:

Acute bacterial sinusitis:Immediate release: 500 mg orally once a day for 3 daysExtended release suspension: 2 g orally once for mild to moderate infections

Usual Adult Dose for Skin or Soft Tissue Infection:

Uncomplicated:Immediate release: 500 mg orally on the first day followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5

Usual Adult Dose for Gonococcal Infection -- Uncomplicated:

Immediate release: 2 g orally once

Usual Adult Dose for Chancroid:

Immediate release: 1 g orally once

Usual Adult Dose for Nongonococcal Urethritis:

Immediate release: 1 g orally once

Usual Adult Dose for Cervicitis:

Immediate release: 1 g orally once

Usual Adult Dose for Pelvic Inflammatory Disease:

500 mg IV once a day for at least 2 days followed by 250 mg (immediate release formulation) orally once a day to complete a 7-day course of therapyThe IV dose should be reconstituted and diluted according to the manufacturer's recommendations, and administered as an infusion over not less than 60 minutes.

Usual Adult Dose for Granuloma Inguinale:

Immediate release: 1 g orally once a week for at least 3 weeks and until all lesions have completely healedThis regimen is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an alternative to doxycyline.

Usual Adult Dose for Legionella Pneumonia:

500 mg IV once a day for at least 2 days followed by 500 mg (immediate release formulation) orally once a day to complete a 7- to 10-day course of therapyThe IV dose should be reconstituted and diluted according to the manufacturer's recommendations, and administered as an infusion over not less than 60 minutes.

Usual Adult Dose for Mycoplasma Pneumonia:

Immediate release: 500 mg orally on the first day followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5Severe infection: 500 mg IV once a day can be administered for at least 2 days followed by 500 mg (immediate release formulation) orally once a day to complete a 7- to 10-day course of therapyThe IV dose should be reconstituted and diluted according to the manufacturer's recommendations, and administered as an infusion over not less than 60 minutes.

Usual Adult Dose for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease -- Acute:

Acute bacterial exacerbations (mild to moderate):Immediate release: 500 mg orally once daily for 3 daysor500 mg orally on the first day followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5

Usual Adult Dose for Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare -- Prophylaxis:

Patients with advanced HIV infection:Immediate release: 1200 mg orally once a week alone or with rifabutin

Usual Adult Dose for Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare -- Treatment:

Patients with advanced HIV infection:Immediate release: 500 mg orally once a day plus ethambutol, with or without rifabutin

Usual Adult Dose for Bacterial Infection:

Pertussis:Immediate release: 500 mg orally on the first day followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5

Usual Adult Dose for Lyme Disease -- Erythema Chronicum Migrans:

Immediate release: 500 mg orally once a day

Usual Adult Dose for Bacterial Endocarditis Prophylaxis:

Immediate release: 500 mg orally once 30 to 60 minutes prior to the procedure

Usual Adult Dose for Toxoplasmosis:

Immediate release: 1200 to 1500 mg orally once a day

Usual Adult Dose for Typhoid Fever:

Immediate release: 1000 mg orally on the first day followed by 500 mg orally once a day for 6 daysAlternatively, a dosage of 1000 mg orally once a day for 5 days may also be used.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Pneumonia:

Community acquired:6 months or older:Immediate release: 10 mg/kg (maximum: 500 mg/dose) orally as a single dose on the first day followed by 5 mg/kg (maximum: 250 mg/dose) orally once a day on days 2 thru 5or30 mg/kg orally onceor10 mg/kg orally once a day for 3 daysExtended release suspension:Less than 34 kg: 60 mg/kg orally once for mild to moderate infections34 kg or more: 2 g orally once for mild to moderate infections

Usual Pediatric Dose for Sinusitis:

Acute bacterial sinusitis:6 months or older:Immediate release: 10 mg/kg orally once a day for 3 days16 years or older:Immediate release: 500 mg orally once a day for 3 daysExtended release suspension: 2 g orally once for mild to moderate infections

Usual Pediatric Dose for Otitis Media:

Acute:6 months or older:Immediate release: 30 mg/kg (maximum: 1500 mg/dose) orally onceor10 mg/kg (maximum: 500 mg/dose) orally once a day for 3 daysor10 mg/kg (maximum: 500 mg/dose) orally as a single dose on the first day followed by 5 mg/kg (maximum: 250 mg/dose) orally once a day on days 2 thru 5

Usual Pediatric Dose for Tonsillitis/Pharyngitis:

2 years or older:Immediate release: 12 mg/kg (maximum: 500 mg/dose) orally once a day for 5 daysRecommended as an alternative (second line therapy) in patients who cannot use first line therapy

Usual Pediatric Dose for Skin or Soft Tissue Infection:

Uncomplicated:16 years or older:Immediate release: 500 mg orally on the first day followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5

Usual Pediatric Dose for Bacterial Infection:

Pertussis:Immediate release:Less than 6 months: 10 mg/kg orally once a day for 5 days6 months or older: 10 mg/kg (maximum: 500 mg/dose) orally as a single dose on the first day followed by 5 mg/kg (maximum: 250 mg/dose) orally once a day on days 2 thru 5

Usual Pediatric Dose for Upper Respiratory Tract Infection:

Immediate release:6 months or older: 10 mg/kg (maximum: 500 mg/dose) orally as a single dose on the first day followed by 5 mg/kg (maximum: 250 mg/dose) orally once a day on days 2 thru 5

Usual Pediatric Dose for Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare -- Prophylaxis:

Patients with advanced HIV infection:Immediate release:Primary prevention:Children: 5 mg/kg (maximum: 250 mg/dose) orally once a day or 20 mg/kg (maximum: 1200 mg/dose) once a week alone or with rifabutin16 years or older: 1200 mg orally once a week alone or with rifabutinSecondary prevention:Children: 5 mg/kg (maximum: 250 mg/dose) orally once a day plus ethambutol, with or without rifabutin16 years or older: 500 mg orally once a day plus ethambutol, with or without rifabutin

Usual Pediatric Dose for Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare -- Treatment:

Patients with advanced HIV infection:Immediate release:Children: 5 mg/kg (maximum: 250 mg/dose) orally once a day plus ethambutol, with or without rifabutin16 years or older: 500 mg orally once a day plus ethambutol, with or without rifabutin

Usual Pediatric Dose for Typhoid Fever:

6 months or older:Immediate release: 10 mg/kg orally once a day for 7 days

Usual Pediatric Dose for Chancroid:

Immediate release: 20 mg/kg (maximum: 1 g/dose) orally once

Usual Pediatric Dose for Nongonococcal Urethritis:

Uncomplicated:Immediate release:Less than 8 years and less than 45 kg: 20 mg/kg (maximum: 1 g/dose) orally once8 years or older and 45 kg or more: 1 g orally once

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cervicitis:

Uncomplicated:Immediate release:Less than 8 years and less than 45 kg: 20 mg/kg (maximum: 1 g/dose) orally once8 years or older and 45 kg or more: 1 g orally once

Usual Pediatric Dose for Gonococcal Infection -- Uncomplicated:

16 years or older:Immediate release: 2 g orally once

Usual Pediatric Dose for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease -- Acute:

Acute bacterial exacerbations (mild to moderate):16 years or older:Immediate release: 500 mg orally once a day for 3 daysor500 mg orally on the first day followed by 250 mg orally once a day on days 2 through 5

Usual Pediatric Dose for Babesiosis:

Immediate release: 12 mg/kg (maximum: 600 mg/dose) orally once a day for 7 to 10 days plus oral atovaquone

Usual Pediatric Dose for Bacterial Endocarditis Prophylaxis:

Immediate release: 15 mg/kg (maximum: 500 mg) orally once 30 to 60 minutes prior to procedure

Usual Pediatric Dose for Cystic Fibrosis:

Chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection:Immediate release:6 years or older:25 to less than 40 kg: 250 mg orally on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays40 kg or more: 500 mg orally on Mondays, Wednesdays, FridaysIf side effects are intolerable, the dose should be decreased to twice a week, or if necessary, once a week.

What other drugs will affect azithromycin?

Many drugs can interact with azithromycin. Below is just a partial list. Tell your doctor if you are using:

  • digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);

  • carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol);

  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune);

  • phenytoin (Dilantin);

  • pimozide (Orap);

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

  • triazolam (Halcion);

  • warfarin (Coumadin);

  • another antibiotic, especially clarithromycin (Biaxin) or erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S, Ery-Tab);

  • a calcium channel blocker such as diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others;

  • cholesterol-lowering medicines such as lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin (Lipitor), or simvastatin (Zocor);

  • ergot medicine such as methysergide (Sansert), ergotamine (Ergostat, Medihaler, Cafergot, Ercaf, Wigraine), dihydroergotamine mesylate (D.H.E., Migranal Nasal Spray);

  • HIV medicines such as nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir), saquinavir (Invirase); or

There are many other medicines that can interact with azithromycin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about azithromycin.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 12.01. Revision Date: 01/06/2010 8:54:33 AM.
  • azithromycin Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Azithromycin Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Azithromycin Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • Azithromycin MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)
  • Zithromax Consumer Overview
  • Zithromax Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Zmax Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Zmax Detailed Consumer Information (PDR)
  • Zmax Suspension MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)

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