Azithromycin is used to treat certain bacterial infections of the gut, ear, nose, throat, lungs, skin or bladder.
It is also used to treat genital infections or sexually-transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea.
Azithromycin may be used to treat other bacterial infections as decided by your doctor.
Take Azithromycin exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
This medicine is available as a tablet, capsule or as an oral suspension.
If you are taking the capsule or the extended-release suspension, take it on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals.
If you are taking the tablet or the immediate-release suspension, you may take it with or without food. If you experience any stomach discomfort, take it with food.
If you are taking an oral suspension, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure your dose.
Try to take it at the same time each day.
Take Azithromycin at regular intervals. Complete the entire course of the medicine.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Do not take Azithromycin if you ever had an allergic reaction (rashes, breathlessness, swollen eyes) to similar medicines such as clarithromycin, erythromycin or any other macrolide antibiotics.
Alert your doctor if you have a history of liver disease due to previous antibiotic use as this medicine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- heart disease
- kidney disease
- myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness disorder)
- electrolyte imbalance (imbalance of minerals in the body)
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving this medicine to a child.
If you are being treated with Azithromycin for gonorrhoea, you should follow your doctor's advise on ways to prevent passing the disease to others. You should also avoid sexual contact until the doctor certifies that you are cleared of the infection.
Practice good hygiene to reduce the chances of getting infected again.
For as long as you are taking Azithromycin, you may need to have regular blood tests or liver function tests to check your body’s response to the medicine. Your doctor will advise you on how often you need to have these tests.
Azithromycin may cause any of the following side effects: headache, dizziness, nausea, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, stomach wind, altered taste, skin numbness, vomiting and loss of appetite.
Some side effects may need immediate medical help. Alert your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- difficulty in breathing
- swelling of the eyes, lips or face
- rashes with skin peeling or blisters / rashes with peeling of the skin or blistering of the lips, mouth or eyes accompanied by fever
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- signs of infections such as fever, chills, sore throat
- severe or prolonged diarrhoea
- stomach pain and swelling, yellowing of skin and eyeballs and feeling unwell
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for heart disease e.g. digoxin, amiodarone, quinidine
- medicines for allergies e.g. terfenadine
- medicines used in organ transplant or certain immune disorders e.g. ciclosporin
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- other medicines such as colchicine, pimozide, cisapride
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Azithromycin.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Once you have mixed the powder with water, the oral suspension can be stored at room temperature not more than 30°C. Throw away any unused portion when full dosing is completed.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.