Azithromycin, also known as Zithromax, is an antibiotic for bacterial infections. We’re going to take a look at uses, mechanism of action, and its side effects so that you’re equipped with all the information that you need to know before starting a course of Azithromycin.
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This drug is used in many different applications, including the treatment of various types of infections that are bacterial, including chest infections like bronchitis and pneumonia, skin and soft tissue infections, and also diseases of the ear, nose, and throat such as tonsillitis, sinusitis, otitis media, and so on.
It is also prescribed for treating Lyme disease and certain types of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) like Chlamydia and gonorrhea. When treating gonorrhea and Chlamydia, only one dose of Azithromycin is needed, which can be bought without a pharmacy prescription. The treatment for Chlamydia is sold under the brand name Camille.
The antibacterial activity of Azithromycin is very similar to the range seen in penicillin. That’s why this treatment is often used as an alternative to that drug in people who have allergies to penicillin antibiotics. Your doctor may take a sample of your tissue to ensure that Azithromycin will work on the bacteria causing the infection.
Azithromycin Mechanism Of Action
This drug falls under a class of antibiotics called macrolide. It’s a broad-spectrum drug that clears up infections caused by many different types of bacteria. It works because it prevents bacteria from producing the proteins that are essential for their survival, and without those proteins, the bacteria stops growing and replicating.
Without the increase in numbers, bacteria eventually die or get destroyed by the immune system, resulting in the clearing up of the infection. Azithromycin is suitable for children over six months of age and for adults. Its brand names are Zithromax and Clamelle, but it’s also available as a generic, equally sufficient.
Azithromycin Dosage: How To Take The Medication
This drug comes in two strengths: Azithromycin 250 mg and Azithromycin 500mg. Your doctor will determine your correct dose, but once you have your recommended dose, this treatment is typically taken once every day until the prescribed course is finished.
It comes in the form of capsules, tablets, or a liquid. You can take the pills with a glass of water about an hour before you eat or two hours after your meal. The medicine that comes in tablet or liquid form can be taken with or without food.
However, it’s essential not to take any indigestion remedies for at least two hours before or after taking Azithromycin as this could interfere with how the medication works. Indigestion remedies affect the rate of absorption of this medicine into the gut, making it much less effective.
Also, do your best to take the dose at about the same time every day. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember that day and then take the next amount at the correct time the next day. Don’t take double doses to make up for missed ones as this could lead to an overdose of the medication in your system and, ultimately, an increased risk of adverse side effects.
If your prescription is the liquid form of Azithromycin, always shake the bottle well before taking the recommended dose, and use only the measuring spoon provided with the medication. Regular teaspoons may not give an exact amount.
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Azithromycin Side Effects
As with most medications used in the treatment of bacterial infections, Azithromycin comes with a few side effects, which are listed below:
- Stomach pain
Generally, it’s alright to drink alcohol while taking this treatment, as long as you do so in moderation and not at the same time as your Azithromycin dose. The side effects mentioned above are mild and typically don’t last very long, but if you experience adverse side effects or stay for a prolonged period, get in touch with your doctor to get help.
And remember, just as with all other antibiotics, you must finish the entire course that is prescribed for you, even if you’re feeling a lot better or if your infection has cleared up completely.
Further Precautions: Who Should Not Take Azithromycin?
While this drug is considered safe to use, some instances should not be taken. Azithromycin isn’t suitable for children under the age of six months. It’s not ideal for anyone who is allergic to macrolide or ketolide. Ensure that your doctor is fully aware of your medical history and any current conditions you have or the medicines you’re taking. Other people who need to avoid taking Azithromycin include those who have an account of:
- Liver or kidney problems
- Heart failure
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Myasthenia gravis (abnormal muscle weakness)
- Abnormal potassium or magnesium levels in the blood
Can Pregnant Or Breastfeeding Women Take Azithromycin?
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or if you think you could be pregnant shortly, then make sure that you talk to your doctor before taking Azithromycin as the safety of this treatment during pregnancy and breastfeeding has yet to be confirmed. It means your doctor will probably find a more suitable alternative where the benefits outweigh all possible risks to mother and baby.
Azithromycin Review: The Final Verdict
This drug is a very effective treatment for a wide range of bacterial infections. It has very few side effects and comes at an extremely affordable price. The recommended dose can either be taken by mouth or administered intravenously. First discovered in 1980, this medicine has become the go-to antibiotic prescribed by doctors everywhere. It even made it onto the list of essential drugs created by the World Health Organization.