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Zithromax (azithromycin) is an antibiotic that fights bacteria.
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. It is a macrolide-type antibiotic. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria.
This medication will not work for viral infections (such as common cold, flu). Unnecessary use or misuse of any antibiotic can lead to its decreased effectiveness. Zithromax may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking azithromycin and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
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 azithromycin may not be the same for every type of infection.
Zithromax can be taken with or without food.
Use this medicine 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 flu or a common cold.
For the best effect, take this antibiotic at evenly spaced times. To help you remember, take this medication at the same time(s) every day.
Antacids containing aluminum or magnesium may decrease the absorption of azithromycin if taken at the same time. If you take an antacid that contains aluminum or magnesium, wait at least 2 hours before or after taking azithromycin.
Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens.
You should not use Zithromax if you are allergic to azithromycin, or if:
you have ever had jaundice or liver problems caused by taking Zithromax; or
you are allergic to similar drugs such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, or telithromycin.
To make sure Zithromax is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
Zithromax is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether azithromycin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give Zithromax to a child younger than 6 months old.
Stomach upset, diarrhea/loose stools, nausea, vomiting, or abdominal pain may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: hearing changes (such as decreased hearing, deafness), eye problems (such as drooping eyelids, blurred vision), difficulty speaking/swallowing, muscle weakness, signs of liver problems (such as unusual tiredness, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine).
Get medical help right away if any of these rare but serious side effects occur: fast/irregular heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting.
This medication may rarely cause a severe intestinal condition (Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea) due to a resistant bacteria. This condition may occur during treatment or weeks to months after treatment has stopped. Do not use anti-diarrhea or opioid medications if you have any of the following symptoms because these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor right away if you develop: persistent diarrhea, abdominal or stomach pain/cramping, blood/mucus in your stool.
Use of this medication for prolonged or repeated periods may result in oral thrush or a new yeast infection. Contact your doctor if you notice white patches in your mouth, a change in vaginal discharge, or other new symptoms.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: fever that doesn't go away, new or worsening lymph node swelling, rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
An allergic reaction to this medication may return even if you stop the drug. If you have an allergic reaction, continue to watch for any of the above symptoms for several days after your last dose.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
How should I use this medicine?
Take this medicine by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. The tablets can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. If the medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think your are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. While this drug may be prescribed for children as young as 6 months for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
What if I miss a dose?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.