Drug monograph for azithromycin

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Azithromycin is a powerful antibiotic that is commonly used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It belongs to a class of medications known as macrolide antibiotics, and it works by stopping the growth of bacteria.

Important Information: Before taking azithromycin, it is important to inform your healthcare provider about any allergies you may have, as well as any other medications you are currently taking.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any severe side effects while taking azithromycin, such as severe skin rash, difficulty breathing, or severe stomach pain.

For more information on the uses, dosages, side effects, and precautions of azithromycin, please consult with your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

Mechanism of Action

Azithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic that works by inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis. It binds to the 50S subunit of the bacterial ribosome, blocking the translocation of peptides. This prevents the bacteria from synthesizing essential proteins necessary for their survival and growth, ultimately leading to bacterial cell death.

Unlike other antibiotics, azithromycin has a unique mechanism of action that allows it to effectively target a wide range of bacteria, including gram-positive, gram-negative, and atypical bacteria. This broad-spectrum activity makes azithromycin a versatile and effective treatment option for various bacterial infections.

Mechanism of Action

Azithromycin works by inhibiting protein synthesis in susceptible bacteria by binding to the 50S ribosomal subunit. This prevents the formation of new proteins and ultimately leads to the death of the bacteria. Azithromycin is a bacteriostatic antibiotic, meaning it stops the growth and reproduction of bacteria rather than killing them directly. It is effective against a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, as well as some atypical pathogens.

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Indications and Dosage

Indications and Dosage

Azithromycin is indicated for the treatment of infections caused by susceptible bacteria in various body systems. These include respiratory tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections, otitis media, and sexually transmitted infections.


The dosage of azithromycin depends on the type and severity of the infection. It is typically administered once daily, with or without food. The duration of treatment may vary based on the specific condition being treated.

  • Respiratory Tract Infections: The usual dose is 500 mg once daily for 3 days or a longer period as directed by the healthcare provider.
  • Skin and Soft Tissue Infections: The recommended dosage is 500 mg once daily for 7 to 10 days.
  • Otitis Media: For otitis media, the typical dose is 30 mg/kg as a single dose or 10 mg/kg once daily for 3 days.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections: The standard regimen is a single 1-gram dose of azithromycin.

Prior to initiating treatment, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate dosage recommendations.

Indications and Dosage

Azithromycin is indicated for the treatment of a variety of bacterial infections, including respiratory tract infections, skin and soft tissue infections, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Recommended Dosage

  • The recommended dosage of azithromycin for the treatment of mild to moderate infections is typically a single 500mg dose on the first day, followed by 250mg once daily for 3 to 5 days.
  • For more severe infections, the dosage may be increased to 500mg once daily for 5 to 10 days.

It is important to follow the dosage instructions provided by your healthcare provider or as indicated on the prescription label. Do not exceed the recommended dosage without consulting a healthcare professional.

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Proper Usage and Dosage

It is important to follow the prescribed dosage of Azithromycin as directed by your healthcare provider. The medication is usually taken once daily with a full glass of water, with or without food. Do not crush, chew, or break the tablets, swallow them whole.

Continue taking the medication for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms improve before the course is completed. Skipping doses or stopping the medication early may result in the infection not being fully treated and may lead to the development of antibiotic resistance.

Dosage Information:

The recommended dosage of Azithromycin varies depending on the condition being treated. It is essential to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dose for your specific situation.

Important Note:

Do not self-medicate with Azithromycin or adjust the dosage without consulting your doctor. Always follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider for safe and effective use of the medication.

Side Effects and Precautions

Side Effects and Precautions

Azithromycin may cause side effects, although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects may include:

Common Side Effects
• Nausea
• Diarrhea
• Abdominal pain
• Vomiting
• Headache

If you experience any severe side effects such as severe stomach pain, persistent diarrhea, dizziness, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately. It is important to inform your healthcare provider of any known allergies or medical conditions before using azithromycin to prevent potential interactions and adverse reactions.

Common Adverse Reactions

When taking Azithromycin, some common adverse reactions may occur. It is important to be aware of these potential side effects:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in taste
  • Rash
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Seek Medical Attention

If you experience severe or persistent adverse reactions while taking Azithromycin, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Some reactions may require medical intervention to ensure your health and well-being.

Contraindications and Interactions

Azithromycin should not be used in patients with known hypersensitivity to azithromycin, erythromycin, or any macrolide antibiotic. It is contraindicated in patients with a history of cholestatic jaundice or hepatic dysfunction associated with prior use of azithromycin.

Azithromycin may interact with other medications such as warfarin, digoxin, cyclosporine, and antacids. It is important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting azithromycin if the patient is taking any of these medications.

  • Azithromycin may increase the risk of bleeding when used concomitantly with warfarin.
  • The concomitant use of azithromycin with digoxin may lead to increased digoxin levels in the blood, potentially causing digoxin toxicity.
  • Cyclosporine levels may be increased when used with azithromycin, leading to an increased risk of nephrotoxicity.
  • Antacids containing aluminum or magnesium may reduce the absorption of azithromycin if taken together, so it is recommended to space out their administration.

Patients should inform their healthcare providers about all medications they are taking before starting azithromycin to prevent potential drug interactions and ensure the safe and effective use of the medication.