Azithromycin belongs to the class of drugs known as Macrolide antibiotics. It is commonly used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections, including respiratory tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections, and sexually transmitted infections. It is also used as a prophylactic treatment for individuals at risk of developing bacterial infections after exposure to certain types of bacteria. It treats certain bacterial infections like strep throat, pneumonia, middle ear infections, traveler’s diarrhea, and other intestinal infections.
- Azithromycin may be used in combination with other antibiotics when it’s used to treat mycobacterium avium complex infection.
- It should not be used to treat infections caused by viruses, such as the common cold.
- Don’t use it if you have had jaundice or other liver diseases. Also, talk to your doctor if you have myasthenia gravis, abnormal heart rhythm, and low potassium levels in your blood.
Azithromycin tablets can be used for the treatment of the following infections:
- Acute bacterial otitis media
- Acute bacterial sinusitis
- Pharyngitis, tonsillitis
- Mild to moderately severe community-acquired pneumonia
- Uncomplicated Chlamydia trachomatis urethritis and cervicitis
- Skin and soft tissue infections
- Acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis
- Genital Ulcer disease.
Who can’t use Azithromycin?
While Azithromycin is generally considered safe for most individuals, certain people should not use this medication.
Individuals with a known allergy to macrolide antibiotics, including Azithromycin, should not take this medication as it can lead to severe allergic reactions.
In addition, individuals with a history of liver or kidney disease, heart rhythm disorders, or myasthenia gravis should inform their doctor before taking Azithromycin, as this medication may not suit them.
Furthermore, certain medications can interact with Azithromycin, so it is crucial to inform your doctor of any medications you are taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements.
How Does Azithromycin Work?
Azithromycin works by inhibiting the growth and spread of bacterial cells, thus stopping the infection from worsening. Azithromycin does this by binding to the 50S ribosomal subunit of bacterial cells, which prevents the synthesis of proteins that the bacteria need to grow and multiply. As a result, the bacterial cells cannot produce the proteins required for survival, and their growth is halted, ultimately leading to their death.
Azitromycin Side Effects
Following Side effects can be seen with the use of azithromycin;
- Nausea vomiting
- Headache with chest pain and severe dizziness, fainting, fast or pounding heartbeats;
- Nervous System: Dizziness, headache, vertigo, and tiredness.
- Cardiovascular: Palpitations and chest pain.
- Severe skin reaction – fever, sore throat, Swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain or swelling, pus-filled pimples, Red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.
- Gastrointestinal: Dyspepsia, flatulence, vomiting, melena, and cholestatic jaundice.
- Allergic: Rash, photosensitivity, and angioedema.
If you are taking Azithromycin, there are certain precautions you should follow to ensure that you use it safely and effectively.
First, taking Azithromycin exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes is crucial. Follow the dosage and schedule recommended to you, and do not stop taking the medication before completing the entire course of treatment, even if you start feeling better.
Before taking Azithromycin, you should also inform your doctor of any medical conditions you have, especially liver or kidney disease, heart rhythm disorders, or myasthenia gravis. This medication may not be suitable for individuals with these conditions.
It is also important to inform your doctor of any medications you are taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements, as certain medications can interact with Azithromycin.
Finally, contact your doctor immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms or side effects while taking Azithromycin, such as severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, or a rash.
Azithromycin In Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
For pregnant women, Azithromycin is generally considered safe to use during the first trimester of pregnancy but should only be used if it is needed. In the later stages of pregnancy, Azithromycin should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
Azithromycin can pass into breast milk for breastfeeding women and may harm a nursing baby. Therefore, breastfeeding women should inform their doctor before taking Azithromycin, as an alternative medication or temporary cessation of breastfeeding may be recommended.
Overall, discussing the risks and benefits of using Azithromycin during pregnancy and breastfeeding with a healthcare provider is important to ensure the medication is used safely and appropriately.
Dosage of Azitromycin :
The dosage and length of time for azithromycin treatment may vary according to the type of infection:
- Infection of the throat and tonsils: 500 mg/Day in a single dose, then 250 mg per day for four days.
- Infections of the skin: 500 milligrams (mg) in a single dose, then 250 mg per day for four days.
- Community-Acquired Pneumonia (CAP):500 mg of dose per day, then 250 mg daily for four days.
- Sinus infections caused by bacteria: 500 mg daily for three days or 2 g as a one-time dose.
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