Azithromycin

Description

Azithromycin is an antibiotic used to treat different types of infections caused by a variety of bacteria. It has the advantage of once-daily dosing. This medicine is not recommended for use in case of common cold, flu or viral infections since it is active against infections caused by bacteria only.

Side effects

Major & minor side effects for Azithromycin

  • Diarrhea
  • Dry or scaly skin
  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficult or painful urination
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Aggression or anger
  • Excessive air or gas in stomach
  • Heartburn

Uses of Azithromycin

What is it prescribed for?

  • Community acquired pneumonia
  • Ear Infection (Otitis Media)
  • Pharyngitis/Tonsillitis
  • Skin and soft tissue infections
  • Cat Scratch Disease
  • Acne vulgaris
  • Bacterial conjunctivitis
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Concerns

Commonly asked questions

  • Onset of action
    The effect of this medicine can be observed within 2 to 3 hours of dose administration.
  • Duration of effect
    The effect of this medicine lasts for an average duration of 2 to 4 days.
  • Safe with alcohol?
    Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
  • Is it habit forming?
    No habit forming tendency has been reported.
  • Usage in pregnancy?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless necessary and the potential benefits outweigh the risks involved.
  • Usage while breast-feeding?
    This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. If the medicine is used, close monitoring of the infant for any undesired effects is necessary.

Hypersensitivity

This medicine is not recommended for use if you have a known allergy to Azithromycin or any other macrolides.

Liver damage

This medicine is not recommended for use in patients with a known history of cholestatic jaundice or hepatic impairment caused by prior use of this medicine.
Warnings for special population

Pregnancy

This medicine is not recommended for use in pregnant women unless necessary and the potential benefits outweigh the risks involved.

Breast-feeding

This medicine is not recommended for use in breastfeeding women unless absolutely necessary. If the medicine is used, close monitoring of the infant for any undesired effects is necessary.
General warnings

Hypersensitivity

This medicine is not recommended for use if you have a known allergy to Azithromycin or any other macrolides.

Myasthenia Gravis

Azithromycin has been reported to worsen the symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis as well as trigger new-onset symptoms. Hence, this medicine should be used with extreme caution in patients with a known history of Myasthenia Gravis. Replacement with a suitable alternative should be done under your doctor's supervision.

QT Prolongation

This medicine should be used with caution in patients with a known history of arrhythmias, heart diseases and patients who are on medicines that prolong QT interval such as psychiatric drugs and anti-arrhythmic drugs since Azithromycin may increase the risk of cardiac arrhythmias. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required based on the clinical condition.

Diarrhea

Antibiotic therapy will cause an imbalance in the normal microbial flora of the large intestine, which may promote the growth of bacteria called Clostridium difficile and you may experience severe diarrhea as a result. Report any such incidence to the doctor on priority. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative may be required based on the clinical condition.

Drug resistance

Usage of Azithromycin without sufficient proof or suspicion of a bacterial infection should be avoided. Irrational dosing might fail in providing the benefits and even cause toxicity. It may also increase the risk of development of bacteria that are drug resistant.

Use in pediatrics

Azithromycin injection is not recommended for use in patients less than 16 years of age.

Route of amdministration

Azithromycin injection is not recommended for administration as a bolus or an intramuscular injection.

Missed Dose

Oral forms/Eye drops/Gel/Ointment: The missed dose of Azithromycin should be taken/applied as soon as possible. It is advisable to skip the missed dose if it is already time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for the missed dose. Since Azithromycin injection is usually administered by a qualified healthcare professional in the clinical or hospital setting, the likelihood of missing a dose is very low.

Overdose

Oral forms/Eye drops/Ointment/Gel: Seek emergency medical attention or contact your doctor in case of an overdose with Azithromycin. Injection: Since this medicine is administered in the hospital or clinical setting by a qualified healthcare professional, the likelihood of an overdose is very low. However, emergency medical treatment will be initiated by the doctor if an overdose is suspected.
All drugs interact differently for person to person. You should check all the possible interactions with your doctor before starting any medicine.
Interaction with Alcohol

Description

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.

Instructions

Interaction with alcohol is unknown. It is advisable to consult your doctor before consumption.
Interaction with Medicine

Atorvastatin

Amiodarone

Pimozide

Aluminium Hydroxide/Magnesium Hydroxide

Digoxin

Theophylline

Disease interactions

QT Prolongation

Azithromycin should be used with extreme caution in patients with a known history of arrhythmias, heart diseases and patients who are on medicines that prolong QT intervals such as psychiatric drugs and anti-arrhythmic drugs. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative might be required in some cases.

Liver Disease

Azithromycin should be used with extreme caution in patients with a known history of liver diseases. Close monitoring of liver function tests is necessary while receiving this medicine. Appropriate dose adjustments or replacement with a suitable alternative might be required in some cases based on the clinical condition.

Myasthenia Gravis

Azithromycin should be used with extreme caution in patients with a known history of Myasthenia Gravis due to the increased risk of worsening of the patient's condition. Your doctor may prescribe a suitable alternative based on your clinical condition.
Food interactions
Information not available.
Lab interactions
Information not available.
Oral forms: Take Azithromycin as advised by your doctor. You may take this medicine with or without food. Do not take in larger amounts than advised. Injection: Azithromycin should be administered by a trained healthcare professional. Gel/Ointment/Eye drops: Use this medicine exactly as advised by the doctor. Report any adverse effects to the doctor immediately. Do not stop the use of this medicine without consulting your doctor.
Miscelleneous

Can be taken with or without food, as advised by your doctor

To be taken as instructed by doctor

May cause sleepiness

How it works
This medicine works by interfering with certain processes that help the bacteria to grow and increase in number.
Legal Status

Approved

Approved

Approved

Approved

Classification

Category

Macrolides

Schedule

Schedule H

Azithromycin - DrugBank [Internet]. Drugbank.ca. 2017 [cited 22 June 2017]. Available from:

https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB00207

Azithromycin: MedlinePlus Drug Information [Internet]. Medlineplus.gov. 2017 [cited 22 June 2017]. Available from:

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a697037.html

DailyMed -azithromyin- azithromycin for injection injection, powder, lyophilized, for solution injection [Internet]. Dailymed.nlm.nih.gov. 2017 [cited 4 October 2017]. Available from:

https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=679af699-714d-a3a3-674b-fc9ae4474a9a

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Information on this page was last updated on 9 Oct 2017

Disclaimer

We’ve made all possible efforts to ensure that the information provided here is accurate, up-to-date and complete, however, it should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Practo only provides reference source for common information on medicines and does not guarantee its accuracy or exhaustiveness. The absence of a warning for any drug or combination thereof, should not be assumed to indicate that the drug or combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for any given patient. Practo does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information provided above. If you have any doubts about your medication then we strongly recommend that you consult with your doctor, nurse or healthcare provider. See detailed T&C here.