azithromycin (generic name)

Zithromax (brand name)

It is used to treat or prevent certain kinds of bacterial infections
(az ith roe MYE sin)
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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?

This medicine is for infusion into a vein. It is given by a health care professional in a hospital or clinic or may be given during home health care. 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 you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medicine early.

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

What if I miss a dose?

This does not apply.

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
  • cyclosporine
  • digoxin
  • dihydroergotamine or ergotamine
  • nelfinavir
  • phenytoin
  • warfarin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Your condition will be monitored closely. Tell your doctor or health care professional if your symptoms do not improve.

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
  • anxious, hyperactive, nervous
  • 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 eyes, 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
  • loss of appetite, bad taste
  • pain, swelling at the site of injection
  • stomach upset, vomiting
  • vaginal irritation

Where should I keep my medicine?

Keep out of the reach of children.

This drug is usually given in a hospital or clinic and will usually not be stored at home. You will be instructed on how to store this medicine, if needed. Throw away any unused medicine after the expiration date on the label.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Last Updated: March 10, 2009
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