Azithromycin (Systemic)

Pediatric Medication

Brand Names: US

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

Brand Names: Canada

ACT-Azithromycin; Apo-Azithromycin; Apo-Azithromycin Z; Azithromycin for Injection; Azithromycin for Injection, USP; Dom-Azithromycin; GD-Azithromycin; Mylan-Azithromycin; Novo-Azithromycin; PHL-Azithromycin; PMS-Azithromycin; PRO-Azithromycine; 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 the doctor BEFORE my child takes this drug?

  • If your child has an allergy to this drug or any part of this drug.
  • If your child is allergic to any drugs like this one or any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell the doctor about the allergy and what signs your child had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If your child has any of these health problems: Long QT on ECG, low magnesium levels, low potassium levels, or slow heartbeat.
  • If your child has turned yellow or has had liver side effects with this drug before.
  • If your child is 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 the 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 the doctor and pharmacist about all of your child’s drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for your child to take this drug with all of his/her drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug your child takes without checking with the doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while my child takes this drug?

For all patients taking this drug:

  • Tell all of your child’s health care providers that your child is taking this drug. This includes your child’s doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Do not give to your child longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
  • If your child is taking warfarin, talk with the doctor. Your child may need to have blood work checked more closely while taking it with this drug.
  • A very bad and sometimes deadly reaction has happened with this drug. Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. Talk with the doctor.
  • This drug may cause a type of abnormal heartbeat (prolonged QT interval). If this happens, the chance of other unsafe and sometimes deadly abnormal heartbeats may be raised. Talk with the doctor.
  • If your child has myasthenia gravis, talk with the doctor. Call the doctor if your child’s signs get worse. Signs of myasthenia gravis have also happened in people who do not have it. Call the doctor right away if your child has new or worse muscle weakness, trouble chewing or swallowing, trouble breathing, droopy eyelids, or change in eyesight like blurred eyesight or seeing double.

If your child is pregnant or breast-feeding a baby:

  • Talk with the doctor if your child is pregnant, becomes pregnant, or is breast-feeding a baby. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this drug.


  • A very bad stomach problem has happened in newborns taking this drug. Call the doctor right away if your child throws up or gets irritable with feeding.

What are some side effects that I need to call my child’s 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 child’s doctor or get medical help right away if your child has 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 heartbeat that does not feel normal.
  • Change in hearing.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Chest pain or pressure or a fast heartbeat.
  • Ringing in ears.
  • Seizures.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Trouble swallowing or speaking.
  • Fever.
  • Swollen gland.
  • Vaginal itching or discharge.
  • It is common to have diarrhea when taking this drug. Rarely, a very bad form of diarrhea called Clostridium difficile (C diff)-associated diarrhea (CDAD) may occur. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen while your child is taking this drug or within a few months after he/she stops taking it. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat loose stools without first checking with the doctor.
  • Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this drug. Call your child’s doctor right away if your child has 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 your child has signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in the mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.


  • 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 child’s doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother your child or do not go away:
  • Belly pain.
  • Upset stomach or throwing up.
  • Loose stools (diarrhea).
  • Headache.
  • Itching.
  • Not hungry.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your child’s doctor. Call your child’s doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to your national health agency.

How is this drug best given?

Give this drug as ordered by your child’s doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.


  • Give on an empty stomach. Give 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
  • Shake well before use.
  • Use within 12 hours of making.
  • If your child throws up within 1 hour of taking this drug, call the doctor to find out what to do.

All other oral products:

  • Give this drug with or without food. Give with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Do not give antacids within 2 hours of this drug.


  • Empty powder packet in1/4 cup (60 mL) of water. Mix well and give to your child to drink. Rinse cup with more water and have your child drink.

Tablets and liquid (suspension):

  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss giving your child doses.
  • Keep giving this drug to your child as you have been told by your child’s doctor or other health care provider, even if your child feels well.

Liquid (suspension):

  • Shake well before use.
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with this drug. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure this drug.


  • It is given as an infusion into a vein over a period of time.

What do I do if my child misses a dose?


  • Only 1 dose of this drug is needed. If your child missed the dose, give it as soon as you think about it.


  • Only 1 dose of this drug is needed. If your child missed the dose, give it as soon as you think about it.

All other oral products:

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


  • Call your child’s doctor to find out what to do.

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


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


  • 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.


  • Store in the original container at room temperature.

All oral products:

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


  • If you need to store this drug at home, talk with your child’s doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to store it.

All products:

  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. 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 child’s symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your child’s doctor.
  • Do not share your child’s drug with others and do not give anyone else’s drug to your child.
  • Keep a list of all your child’s drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your child’s doctor.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor before giving your child 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 child’s doctor, nurse, 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.

Last Reviewed Date



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