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Azithromycin For Dogs

azithromycin for dogs

Drug Interactions

Azithromycin may elevate serum digoxin levels.

When ergotamine or dihydroergotamine are concurrently administered with azithromycin ergot toxicity may occur.

Azithromycin causes a decrease in the clearance of triazolam and thus an increase in its pharmacologic effects

Pimozide is contraindicated in patients receiving azithromycin, and vice versa (death may result)

Animals being treated with cisapride should not be given azithromycin or other macrolide antibiotics

Drugs metabolized by cytochrome P450 (e.g. carbamazepine, terfenadine, cyclosporine, hexobarbital, and phenytoin) will have their serum levels elevated by azithromycin

Oral antacids reduce the absorption of azithromycin

Azithromycin Dosage

Azithromycin is taken as a pill or liquid. It's also given as intravenous (IV) injection in hospitals. Packets of powder are mixed with water to create the liquid solution.

Azithromycin may be taken with or without food.

Doctors sometimes prescribe azithromycin for shorter periods than they do for other antibiotics, such as in a one-day "mega-dose," or for three or five days, using the Z-Pak, which starts at a higher dose than longer regimens.

Precautions

The most-common side-effects in all species are gastrointestinal. Vomiting may occur in dogs. Mild to moderate diarrhea may occur in foals. Hyperthermia is a serious and potentially fatal side effect that may be seen in foals. There is ample clinical evidence that foals on erythromycin are very sensitive to heat and possibly to bright sunlight and there have been anecdotal reports of similar hyperthermia with both azithromycin and clarithromycin. Because of this problem, many veterinarians do not turnout foals on macrolide antibiotics in the daytime and may severely limit their turnout time in general. Should hyperthermia occur, aggressive cooling using water and fans or air conditioning is helpful.

Azithromycin Side Effects

Common Side Effects of Azithromycin

Many people experience fewer side effects when taking azithromycin compared with other antibiotics in the macrolide class, such as erythromycin (Erythrocin).

However, you may still experience side effects, especially if your doctor prescribed a high dose of azithromycin to be taken just one time. Tell your doctor if you experience any of the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Loose stools
  • Stomach discomfort

Some people may also experience cramps and yeast or vaginal infection.

Azithromycin Warnings

Azithromycin can cause abnormal changes in the electrical activity of the heart, which may lead to deadly irregular heart rhythm, according to a special warning by the FDA in 2012.

If you have a heart-rhythm condition, such as a slow or irregular heartbeat, or take drugs to treat these conditions, you should talk to your doctor about it before taking azithromycin.

Your doctor also should make sure you have normal blood levels of potassium and magnesium before prescribing azithromycin.

In addition, you should not take azithromycin if you:

  • Are allergic to azithromycin or any of its inactive ingredients
  • Have a form of jaundice known as cholestatic jaundice, in which bile backs up into the liver and causes a yellowing of the skin, eyes, or nails
  • Are taking pimozide (Orap)

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