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What Is Azithromycin (Zithromax)?

What Is Azithromycin (Zithromax)?

What Is Azithromycin (Zithromax)

Azithromycin is also used to treat lung and other respiratory infections, such as bronchitis, sinusitis, community acquired pneumonia, some cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and whooping cough (pertussis).

Doctors may also prescribe azithromycin for genital infections and sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea, infections of the urethra or cervix, genital ulcers, and severe pelvic inflammatory disease.

Azithromycin belongs to group of drugs known as macrolide antibiotics. They work by preventing bacteria from making their own proteins.

As with other antibiotics, to prevent the spread of drug-resistant infections, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) strongly advises doctors to prescribe the drug only when there is proof, or a strong suspicion, that the infection is caused by bacteria against which azithromycin is effective.

Side Effects

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.

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 products or narcotic pain 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.

Interactions

Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.

Precautions

Talk to your doctor about using azithromycin safely.Azithromycin may cause live bacterial vaccines (such as typhoid vaccine) to not work as well. Do not have any immunizations/vaccinations while using this medication unless your doctor tells you to.Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially QT prolongation (see above).During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.

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