Drugs A - Z

Azithromycin Oral suspension

It is used to treat or prevent certain kinds of bacterial infections

Generic Name: azithromycin

Brand Names: Zithromax, Azithromycin 5 Day Dose Pack, Zithromax Z-Pak, Azithromycin 3 Day Dose Pack, Zmax, Zithromax TRI-PAK

What is this medicine?

AZITHROMYCIN (az ith roe MYE sin) is a macrolide antibiotic. It is used to treat or prevent certain kinds of bacterial infections. It will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • irregular heartbeat or heart disease
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to azithromycin, erythromycin, other macrolide antibiotics, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label.

For the suspension already mixed by the pharmacist: Shake well before using. This medicine can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. If the medicine upsets your stomach, take it with food. Use a specially marked spoon, or container to measure the dose. Ask your pharmacist if you do not have one. Household spoons are not accurate. Take your medicine at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed. Take all of your medicine as directed even if you think that you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

For the 1 gram single dose packet: This medicine can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. Empty the contents of a single dose packet into two ounces of water (about one quarter of a full glass). Mix and drink all the mixture at once. Add another two ounces of water to the glass, mix well and drink all of it, to make sure you take the full dose.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • lincomycin

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • amiodarone
  • antacids
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • dihydroergotamine or ergotamine
  • magnesium
  • nelfinavir
  • phenytoin
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve.

Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.

This medicine can make you more sensitive to the sun. Keep out of the sun. If you cannot avoid being in the sun, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Do not use sun lamps or tanning beds/booths.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medicine?

Side effects that you should report to your doctor or health care professional as soon as possible:
  • allergic reactions like skin rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips, or tongue
  • confusion, nightmares or hallucinations
  • dark urine
  • difficulty breathing
  • hearing loss
  • irregular heartbeat or chest pain
  • pain or difficulty passing urine
  • redness, blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
  • white patches or sores in the mouth
  • yellowing of the eyes or skin

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your doctor or health care professional if they continue or are bothersome):

  • diarrhea
  • dizziness, drowsiness
  • headache
  • stomach upset or vomiting
  • tooth discoloration
  • vaginal irritation


Last Updated: March 10, 2009
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