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What Is Azithromycin

what is 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.

Uses of Azithromycin

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

Side effects

  • 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

Dosage

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.

General Instructions

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.

Warnings

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.

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