Zithromax (azithromycin)

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Brand Name

Zithromax {Pfizer}

Generic Name

azithromycin, pronounced a ZITH roe MYE sin


What is Zithromax?

Zithromax is an antibiotic used to treat many types of infections. Zithromax is in the macrolide class of antibiotics and may be prescribed to treat bacterial infections, respiratory infections, skin infections, ear infections and sexually transmitted diseases.

Zithromax may also be used for reasons not stated in this medication guide.


Key Facts About Zithromax

If you have ever had jaundice or liver problems you should tell your doctor before taking Zithromax.

You should not take antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium within 2 hours before or after you take Zithromax. These antacids include Acid Gone, Di-Gel, Gaviscon, Maalox, Milk of Magnesia, Mylanta, Pepcid Complete, Rolaids and others. If you take antacids within 2 hours before or after taking Zithromax this medicine may not be as effective.

Be aware that Zithromax may cause you to sunburn more easily. Take care to wear SPF 30 or higher when going outdoors and avoid tanning beds while you are taking Zithromax.

Zithromax will not treat a viral infection, such as the flu.

Zithromax, along with other antibiotics, may sometimes cause diarrhea, which could be a sign of a new infection. Tell your doctor right away if you have diarrhea that is bloody or watery.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Zithromax is in FDA pregnancy category B. It is not known that Zithromax can cause problems in your newborn. Consult with your doctor if you become pregnant while taking Zithromax. You should not breastfeed while taking Zithromax, as we do not know if Zithromax can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby.


Before You Take Zithromax

If you are allergic to azithromycin or similar medications like erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab,Pediazole), clarithromycin (Biaxin), telithromycin (Ketek) or troleandomycin (Tao) you should not take Zithromax.

If you have kidney disease, liver disease or myasthenia gravis you should tell your doctor before taking Zithromax.

Tell your doctor if you have a heart rhythm disorder or a history of Long QT syndrome before starting treatment with Zithromax. Older adults and the elderly may be more likely to have side effects affecting their heart rhythm, including a life-threatening fast heart rate.

Zithromax should not be given to a child under six (6) months of age.


Zithromax Drug Interactions

You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

  • antibiotics like erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab,Pediazole), clarithromycin (Biaxin), telithromycin (Ketek) and troleandomycin (Tao)
  • antidepressants like such as citalopram (Celexa), clomipramine (Anafranil), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem), fluvoxamine (Luvox), paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft)
  • anti-malaria medications like chloroquine (Aralen) and mefloquine (Lariam)
  • arsenic trioxide (Trisenox)
  • cholesterol-lowering medicines like lovastatin (Mevacor), atorvastatin (Lipitor) and
    simvastatin (Zocor)
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
  • ergot medications like methysergide (Sansert), ergotamine (Ergostat, Medihaler, Cafergot), dihydroergotamine mesylate (D.H.E., Migranal Nasal Spray)
  • heart or blood pressure medications like digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps), diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), felodipine (Plendil), nifedipine (Nifedical, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan)
  • heart rhythm medicine like amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), disopyramide (Norpace), dronedarone (Multaq), ibutilide (Corvert), procainamide (Procan, Pronestyl), propafenone (Rythmol), quinidine (Quin-G) and sotalol (Betapace)
  • HIV medicines like nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir) and saquinavir (Invirase)
  • migraine headache medications like sumatriptan (Imitrex, Treximet) and zolmitriptan (Zomig)
  • narcotic medications like methadone (Methadose, Diskets, Dolophine)
  • nausea and vomiting preventatives like dolasetron (Anzemet), droperidol (Inapsine) and ondansetron (Zofran)
  • psychiatric disorder medications like chlorpromazine (Thorazine), clozapine (FazaClo, Clozaril), haloperidol (Haldol), pimozide (Orap), thioridazine (Mellaril) and ziprasidone (Geodon)
  • sedatives or tranquilizers like alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), midazolam (Versed) and
    triazolam (Halcion)
  • seizure medications like carbamazepine (Carbatrol, Tegretol) and phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • theophylline (Theo-Dur, Theolair)
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)

Other drugs you take that are not listed may interact with Zithromax. You should tell your doctor about all of the medications you use. This includes prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements and herbal products, and over the counter medications. You should not begin taking a new medication without telling your doctor first.


Directions for Taking Zithromax

You should take Zithromax exactly as directed by your doctor. It is important that you do not take Zithromax in larger or smaller amounts, or for longer or shorter than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label and follow any dose changes carefully if your doctor instructs you to change your dose.

Zithromax may be taken with or without food.

You should take Zithromax with a full glass of water.

If you are taking the Zithromax oral suspension single dose packet you should open the packet and pour the medicine into 2 ounces, or approximately 60 mL of water and stir it well. You must drink all of the dosage right away. To be certain that you get the entire dose you can add a little water to the same glass, swirl it gently and drink it right away.

If you are using the Zithromax oral suspension be sure to shake it well right before you measure your dose. Do not use a regular table spoon to measure the liquid Zithromax. You should use a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device you can ask your pharmacist for one.

You must take Zithromax for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms improve before you have finished your medication. If you skip doses of Zithromax you increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics, so you should not skip any doses.

Zithromax needs to be stored at room temperature, and away from light, moisture and heat. Keep your bottle tightly closed when you are not using it. Throw away any unused liquid Zithromax 10 days after opening it.

If you miss a dose of Zithromax you should attempt to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose do not take the missed dose in addition to your regular dose.



Zithromax Side Effects

If you experience any of the following adverse effects you should stop taking Zithromax and seek emergency medical help immediately:

  • allergic reactions such as breathing difficulties, hives, or swelling of your face, lips, throat or tongue
  • diarrhea that is bloody and watery
  • headache with chest pains, severe dizziness and fast or pounding heartbeats
  • jaundice along with nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine and clay-colored stools
  • skin reaction that is severe, including a fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain and followed by a purple or red skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Less serious side effects of Zithromax may include:

  • decreased sense of smell and/or taste
  • dizziness
  • feeling drowsy
  • ringing in ears or hearing problems
  • headache
  • insomnia
  • nervousness
  • mild skin rash and itching
  • upset stomach with constipation, mild nausea and vomiting
  • vaginal itching or discharge

It should be noted that this is not a complete list of possible side effects of Zithromax. You should contact your physician for a complete list and medical advice regarding these effects.


Zithromax Description and Dosing

Zithromax is available as 600 mg tablets, which are engraved on the front with “PFIZER” and on the back with “308”. The tablets are white, modified oval-shaped and

The Zithromax oral suspension is supplied in single dose packets containing azithromycin dihydrate equivalent to 1 gram in boxes of 10 Single Dose Packets or boxes of 3 Single Dose Packets.

You should consult your doctor for specific dosing pertaining to you. Do not attempt to alter or change your dose without your physician’s consent.

If you suspect that you have overdosed with Zithromax you should seek emergency help immediately.


Ingredients in Zithromax

Zithromax is comprised of the main ingredient azithromycin. Other ingredients in the tablets include dibasic calcium phosphate anhydrous, pregelatinized starch, sodium croscarmellose, magnesium stearate, sodium lauryl sulfate and an aqueous film coat consisting of hypromellose, titanium dioxide, lactose and triacetin. The oral suspension of Zithromax also contains colloidal silicon dioxide, sodium phosphate tribasic, anhydrous; spray dried artificial banana flavor, spray dried artificial cherry flavor and sucrose.

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The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.

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