AZITHROMYCIN (az ith roe MYE sin) treats infections caused by bacteria. It belongs to a group of medications called antibiotics. It will not treat colds, the flu, or infections caused by viruses.
What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
History of blood diseases, like leukemia
History of irregular heartbeat
An unusual or allergic reaction to azithromycin, erythromycin, other macrolide antibiotics, foods, dyes, or preservatives
Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
How should I use this medication?
Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water. Follow the directions on the prescription label. The tablets can be taken with food or on an empty stomach. If the medication upsets your stomach, take it with food. Take your medication at regular intervals. Do not take your medication more often than directed. Take all of your medication as directed even if you think you are better. Do not skip doses or stop your medication early.
Talk to your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be prescribed for children as young as 6 months for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
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 medication?
Do not take this medication with any of the following:
This medication may also interact with the following:
Antacids that contain aluminum or magnesium
Birth control pills
Ergot alkaloids like dihydroergotamine, ergotamine
Other medications that prolong the QT interval (an abnormal heart rhythm)
What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Allergic reactions or angioedema—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, eyes, lips, tongue, arms, or legs, trouble swallowing or breathing
Heart rhythm changes—fast or irregular heartbeat, dizziness, feeling faint or lightheaded, chest pain, trouble breathing
Liver injury—right upper belly pain, loss of appetite, nausea, light-colored stool, dark yellow or brown urine, yellowing skin or eyes, unusual weakness or fatigue
Rash, fever, and swollen lymph nodes
Redness, blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin, including inside the mouth
Severe diarrhea, fever
Unusual vaginal discharge, itching, or odor
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
What should I watch for while using this medication?
Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
This medication may cause serious skin reactions. They can happen weeks to months after starting the medication. Contact your care team right away if you notice fevers or flu-like symptoms with a rash. The rash may be red or purple and then turn into blisters or peeling of the skin. Or, you might notice a red rash with swelling of the face, lips or lymph nodes in your neck or under your arms.
Do not treat diarrhea with over the counter products. Contact your care team if you have diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days or if it is severe and watery.
This medication 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.
Where should I keep my medication?
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.
This information is educational only and should not be construed as specific instructions for individual patients nor as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Talk to your health care provider or pharmacist about the information and instructions. K Health assumes no liability for any use or reliance on this information.