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What is Zithromax?

Zithromax (azithromycin) is an antibiotic belonging to the macrolide family, used to treat certain infections: for example, respiratory infections, middle ear infections.

Action: how Zithromax works


Zithromax is able to slow down the development of bacteria (bacteriostatic effect) and destroy them (bactericidal effect). Zithromax is a “broad-spectrum” antibiotic which means that it destroys a large number of bacteria at a time, hence its application in a large number of various conditions.

Since the antibiotic will be spread all over your body, it will not only affect the bacteria that cause the infection, but also the bacteria in the microbiota. The wider the spectrum, the more likely it is to destroy “good” bacteria with the risk of giving way to resistant bacteria. In this connection, complementary drugs called probiotics should be used alongside with Zithromax in order to restore microflora of the body.

What is Zithromax used for?

Azithromycin is prescribed for the treatment of certain strep throat, superinfection of acute bronchitis, exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, and some stomatologic infections.

Use & dosage

Zithromax should be taken by mouth, without food or with meals. The usual dosage is one dose per day for 3 days, unless otherwise prescribed by a doctor. It is important to take the drug according to the schedule prescribed by the doctor, avoiding oversights that could jeopardize the success of the therapy. Shake the suspensions well before taking.

Interactions with other medicines

Zithromax should not be used in association with cisapride, colchicine, ergotamine or dihydroergotamine.

While you are using Zithromax

When you are taking Zithromax, your tablets should be stored at room temperature, in a cool, dry place away from light. Do not use the drug if the label indicates that it has expired. Keep it away from children. Store the medicine in the original package together with the package insert. The suspension is stable for 5 days if stored at room temperature (refrigerated storage is not recommended).


Special precautions are necessary in case of heart failure or abnormal heart rhythm. Azithromycin may interact with drugs that contain lisuride, bromocriptine, cabergoline or pergolide. Remember to tell your doctor about any treatment you are taking, especially if you are taking an oral anticoagulant, a drug that can cause torsades de pointes, or a drug that contains digoxin, ciclosporin, atorvastatin, or simvastatin.

Diarrhea is a side effect of many antibiotics. However, if it is abundant and lasts several days, it must be reported to your doctor.


If you are taking other medicines; in particular, antacids (medicines used for heartburn), the use of either of the drugs should be avoided. Report if you suffer from serious liver and kidney diseases; if you suffer from “allergies” to drugs or eczema, asthma, hives. Report to your prescriber or pharmacist if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Side effects


In addition to the beneficial effects, each drug can have some side effects. This drug is generally well tolerated; however, sometimes disorders such as: stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea may appear. Tell your doctor if the problems are bothersome or not tolerated. Tell your doctor if you have any other complaints due to taking the medicine.

Commonly reported side effects of Zithromax are:

  • Headache,
  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Digestion difficult,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Abdominal pain,
  • Pancreatitis.

Rare side effects of Zithromax are:

  • Joint pain,
  • Dizziness,
  • Rash, hives, itching, photosensitization,
  • Quincke’s edema, severe skin reaction,
  • Convulsion.

Very rare side effects of Zithromax are:

  • Hepatic impairment: Consult your doctor if you have dark urine or jaundice associated with unusual tiredness.

Zithromax and alcohol

One can consume alcohol reasonably without antagonizing the effects of Zithromax. Nevertheless, the combination of alcohol and antibiotics can cause certain undesirable effects, potentially disturbing for the patient’s recovery:

Bowel disorders. The consumption of alcohol tends to increase the irritation of the stomach and intestines, already increased by the taking of antibiotic. Both disturb the intestinal flora and cause diarrhea;

Saturation of the liver. When drinking alcohol, toxic molecules are transformed by the liver to eliminate them gradually. However, antibiotics too must be metabolized by the liver to be effective. Under these conditions, the metabolization of antibiotics takes second place, as their efficiency is greatly diminished.

Zithromax analogs

  • Azithrocin – Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
  • Azithromycin – Lupin Ltd., Pliva

Posted in Antibiotics

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Customer reviews
By Vannessa
Posted on 24/12/2019
How much is the absorption of Azithromycin decreased by taking an antacid like Gaviscon? I am following Azithromycin therapy for pharyngitis and tonsillitis, but I also suffer from reflux and I also take Gaviscon. The first night I took Azithromycin at 8pm and Gaviscon at 9pm, while the second night I took Gaviscon after 6 hours. Did I compromise the absorption of Azithromycin on the first day? Thanks.
By James Daniels M.D.
Posted on 26/12/2019
Dear patient, both drugs were fully absorbed. Moreover, Azithromycin is a long-lived drug that does not suffer much from other pharmacological interferences. Sincerely yours