Log in »

Azithromycin (Systemic) (az ith roe MYE sin)

Adult Medication

Brand Names: U.S.

Zithromax; Zithromax Tri-Pak; Zithromax Z-Pak; Zmax

Brand Names: Canada

Apo-Azithromycin®; Ava-Azithromycin; Azithromycin for Injection; CO Azithromycin; Dom-Azithromycin; GD-Azithromycin; Mylan-Azithromycin; Novo-Azithromycin; PHL-Azithromycin; PMS-Azithromycin; PRO-Azithromycin; ratio-Azithromycin; Riva-Azithromycin; Sandoz-Azithromycin; Zithromax®; Zithromax® For Intravenous Injection; Zmax SR™

What is this drug used for?

  • It is used to treat or prevent bacterial infections.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?

  • If you have an allergy to azithromycin or any other part of this drug.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Long QT on ECG, low magnesium levels, or low potassium levels.
  • If you have a slow heartbeat, talk with your doctor.
  • If you have turned yellow or had liver side effects with this drug before.
  • If you are taking any drugs that can cause a certain type of heartbeat that is not normal (prolonged QT interval). There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?

  • Tell dentists, surgeons, and other doctors that you use this drug.
  • Avoid driving and doing other tasks or actions that call for you to be alert until you see how this drug affects you.
  • Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
  • If you are 65 or older, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects.
  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug while you are pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

All products:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • A fast heartbeat.
  • A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Change in hearing.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Chest pain or pressure.
  • Change in eyesight.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Ringing in ears.
  • Seizures.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Trouble swallowing or speaking.
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.
  • It is common to have loose stools (diarrhea) when taking this drug. Rarely, a very bad and sometimes deadly form of loose stools may occur (pseudomembranous colitis). This may happen while you are taking this drug or within a few months after you stop taking it. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat loose stools without first checking with your doctor.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this drug. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.

Zmax®:

  • If you throw up within 1 hour of taking this drug.

Shot:

  • Redness or swelling where the shot is given.

What are some other side effects of this drug?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
  • Belly pain.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Headache.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Itching.
  • Not hungry.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best taken?

Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read and follow the dosing on the label closely.

All products:

  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Take as you have been told, even if you feel well.

All oral products:

  • Do not take antacids within 2 hours of this drug.

Zmax®:

  • Take on an empty stomach. Take 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
  • Shake well before use.
  • Use within 12 hours of making.

All other oral products:

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.

Packets:

  • Empty powder packet in 1/4 cup (60 mL) of water. Mix well and drink. Rinse cup with more water and drink.

Liquid (suspension):

  • Shake well before use.
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, get an oral syringe, a dropper, a spoon, or a cup (only for older children) from your pharmacist.

Shot:

  • It is given as a shot into a vein.
  • Your doctor may teach you how to use.
  • Follow how to use carefully.
  • Do not use if the solution is cloudy, leaking, or has particles.
  • Do not use if solution changes color.
  • Throw away needles in a needle/sharp disposal box. When the box is full, follow all local rules for getting rid of it. Talk with a doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

Packets:

  • Only one dose of this drug is needed. If you miss your dose, take it as soon as you think about it.

Zmax®:

  • Only one dose of this drug is needed. If you miss your dose, take it as soon as you think about it.

All other products:

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

How do I store and/or throw out this drug?

Zmax®:

  • Store at room temperature. Do not refrigerate or freeze.

Tablets:

  • Store at room temperature.

Liquid (suspension):

  • Store liquid (suspension) at room temperature or in a refrigerator. Throw away any unused portion after 10 days.
  • Store in original container.

Packets:

  • Store in the original container at room temperature.

All oral products:

  • Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.

Shot:

  • Most of the time, this drug will be given in a hospital or doctor’s office. If stored at home, follow how to store as you were told by the doctor.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

General drug facts

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else’s drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Copyright

All content copyright © 1978-2014 Lexi-Comp Inc. or its respective owners. All Rights Reserved.