- Azithromycin oral tablet is available as both a generic and brand-name drug. Brand name: Zithromax.
- Azithromycin comes as a tablet and suspension, both of which are taken by mouth. It also comes as eye drops, as well as an intravenous form that’s given by a healthcare provider.
- Azithromycin is used to treat infections caused by certain bacteria.
- Azithromycin is usually taken once a day. Try to take it at the same time each day.
- If your doctor has prescribed azithromycin capsules, you should take them at least 1 hour before food or 2 hours after eating. If you have tablets or liquid, you can take them with or without food.
- For most infections you should feel better within a few days, but you should still finish your full course of medicine.
- The most common side effects of azithromycin are feeling or being sick, diarrhoea, headaches, or changes to your sense of taste.
Why it’s used
Azithromycin is used to treat infections caused by certain bacteria. The drug should not be used to treat infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold. Azithromycin may be used in combination with other antibiotics when it’s used to treat infections such as mycobacterium avium complex and some sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Azithromycin is an antibiotic.
It's widely used to treat chest infections such as pneumonia, infections of the nose and throat, skin infections, Lyme disease, and some sexually transmitted infections.
How it works
Azithromycin works by stopping bacteria from multiplying (making more bacteria). This action kills the bacteria and treats your infection.
Like all medicines, azithromycin can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them.
Common side effects
These common side effects of azithromycin happen in more than 1 in 100 people. Keep taking the medicine, but talk to your doctor or pharmacist if these side effects bother you or don't go away:
- feeling sick (nausea)
- diarrhoea or being sick (vomiting)
- losing your appetite
- feeling dizzy or tired
- changes to your sense of taste
Serious side effects
Serious side effects are rare and happen in less than 1 in 1,000 people.
Call a doctor straight away if you get:
- chest pains or a faster or irregular heartbeat
- yellow skin or the whites of your eyes turn yellow, or pale poo with dark pee - these can be signs of liver or gallbladder problems
- ringing in your ears, temporary hearing loss, or you feel unsteady on your feet
- severe pain in your stomach or back - these can be warning signs of inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
- diarrhoea (perhaps with muscle cramps) that contains blood or mucus - if you have severe diarrhoea without blood or mucus for more than 4 days you should also speak to a doctor
Mixing azithromycin with herbal remedies and supplements
There are no known problems with taking herbal remedies or supplements alongside azithromycin.