Zithromax is an antibiotic medication that is used to treat many different types of bacterial infections. It’s often used to treat certain skin infections, respiratory infections, ear infections, throat infections, sinus infections, and certain sexually transmitted diseases. It’s also commonly used for certain lung infections that are common in patients who have HIV. As an antibiotic, it works against the growth of bacteria to treat infections caused by them. It can’t treat infections caused by fungi or viruses. It can’t be used to fight a cold or the flu.

Like other antibiotics, it’s important to take this medication exactly as prescribed and not to stop taking it before all of the medication has been taken. When a patient stops taking an antibiotic early, it can lead to the bacteria becoming stronger and becoming an antibiotic-resistant infection. This medication is prescribed when the doctor suspects that the bacteria causing the infection is a type that is susceptible to it.

What Forms Does Zithromax Come In?

Zithromax can be administered as a tablet or as a liquid suspension. There are two types of liquid suspensions that it is available in. These are the extended-release suspension and the regular suspension. It’s common for this medication to be delivered as a powder that has to be mixed with water to create the suspension. If you mix it, be sure to use the exact amount of water that is called for. It’s also available as an injectable dose when administered in healthcare settings.

Precautions and Warnings of Zithromax

If you’re allergic to any antibiotics, be sure your doctor knows about them. This is especially true if you’re allergic to clarithromycin (such as Biaxin), erythromycin, or telithromycin. If you have other allergies, you can find out the inactive ingredients of this medication by talking to the pharmacist. If you’re allergic to any of the ingredients, don’t take Zithromax.

Antacids shouldn’t be taken near the time when you take Zithromax. If you’ve taken an antacid, allow plenty of time to pass until you take your Zithromax. You can talk to your doctor about how long you specifically need to wait in between taking them. The exception is the extended-release liquid. If you’re taking that form, you can take it with antacids.

If you’ve ever had jaundice or another liver issue, tell your doctor before this medication is prescribed. You most likely will not be able to take this specific antibiotic. If you’ve had prolonged QT interval, a type of heart issue that can cause patients to faint or have an irregular heartbeat, tell the doctor. If you have a history of it in your family, your doctor should also know that. If you have low magnesium or potassium or you have a blood infection, let the doctor know. It’s also important to tell them about any heart problems you have, myasthenia gravis, cystic fibrosis, or liver or kidney disease.

Zithromax can be taken by pregnant women if it’s needed as determined by your doctor. It isn’t suspected of causing problems in the unborn. It isn’t known whether it will pass into breast milk. Your doctor might not recommend this medication if you’re breastfeeding because it isn’t approved for use in anyone under six months old.

Zithromax Side Effects

There are a lot of common side effects that can be caused by Zithromax. There are also more serious side effects that may mean you need immediate medical treatment. Some of the most common side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nervousness
  • Decrease in smell or taste
  • Vaginal itching

 

If you have any of the serious side effects of this medication, you may need to tell your doctor right away, and you may need emergency medical attention. These symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dizziness
  • Peeling or blisters
  • Rash
  • Skin swelling
  • Dark urine
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Fainting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling or the face or in the mouth
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Muscle weakness or loss of control

 

If you notice swelling of the face or mouth, faint, or have an itchy rash, you are likely experiencing an allergic reaction to this medication. A severe allergic reaction can mean that you need emergency medical help right away.

Drug Interactions of Zithromax

Zithromax can adversely interact with a number of other medications. These include blood thinners like Eliquis, coumadin, or warfarin. It can also interact poorly with nelfinavir and arsenic trioxide. If you take medications for HIV or for high cholesterol or antidepressants, make sure your doctor knows before you take Zithromax.

There are also interactions between Zithromax and cyclosporine (such as Restasis), theophylline, other antibiotics, tacrolimus, pimozide, and anti-malaria medications. There may also be interactions with ergot medications, medications for heart rhythm, blood pressure medications, and medications to treat migraines. Any medications that act as tranquilizers or sedatives could interact with Zithromax. If you take seizure medications, make sure that you tell your doctor that you’re taking it. Talk to your doctor about everything you take, including anything that is over the counter or recreational in nature.

Strengths and Dosages of Zithromax

This medication is often started with a higher dose on the first day than is taken on the rest of the days. It’s often prescribed for five days. Zithromax makes a kit called the Z-Pak that contains all of the doses in blister packs. The first day’s dosage of the tablets is generally 500 mg. After that, there are four days of taking 250 mg doses once a day.

The tablets of Zithromax available include strengths of 250 mg, 500 mg, and 600 mg. The liquid doses come in 100 mg, 200 mg, and 1,000 mg. When it’s administered through an IV, the patient usually gets 500 mg each day for two days and then 500 mg taken orally each day for the next five to eight days. The doctor may decide your dosage based on your weight and the type of infection you have.

Injection: 500 mg
Tablets: 250 mg, 500 mg, 600 mg
Liquid suspensions: 100 mg, 200 mg, 1,000 mg

 

Cost of Zithromax in America

The price that you’ll pay for your Zithromax is dependent on many factors. The number of doses that you’ll take and the strength of the doses are just two of the factors. There are also special deals, coupons, and health insurance differences in prices. There are many people who pay the full retail price of the medication, and this is often about $50 for a Z-Pak of six tablets. The powder that is supposed to be reconstituted in a liquid suspension can cost as much as $90. There are many companies that offer discount cards that can reduce the amount you’ll pay for Zithromax if you don’t have insurance. There are also some pharmacies that have special deals on this and other antibiotics.

There are generics of Zithromax known as azithromycin. The price of these generics can be much less than the name-brand medication. You can get it for about $15 and even less with a coupon. If you have health insurance that covers your prescriptions, you’ll likely owe either a negotiated rate for the medication that’s lower than the retail price. Or, you may owe only a small co-pay when you get your prescription.

FAQs of Zithromax

What is Zithromax used for?

It’s a type of antibiotic that is commonly used for certain bacterial infections such as sinus infections, throat infections, lung infections, and many more.

Will Zithromax work on the flu?

No, the flu is a viral infection, and antibiotics have no effect on viruses. The same is true of the common cold. Unless the problem is a bacterial infection, Zithromax can’t treat it.

Do you need to take Zithromax at the same time each day?

Yes, this is the ideal way to take this medication. This ensures that the levels of the medication in your system will remain consistent in order to fight the infection.

Can I stop taking it if I feel better?

No, you might start to feel better after a couple of days on this medication, but the full course of the medication has to be taken. If you stop early, you could come down with an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection.

Is this available as a liquid?

Yes, there are tablets and liquid suspensions that can be taken at home.

Do you need to take it with food?

Zithromax can be taken along with food or without it. If you notice an upset stomach after taking it without food, eat a meal with your next dose when it’s time to take it.

Can I take antacids with Zithromax?

Antacids can keep the body from absorbing all of the medication. If you need to take antacids, don’t take them around the time you take your antibiotic. Wait at least two hours in between them.

Is a Z-Pak the same thing as Zithromax?

Yes, the Z-Pak is a course of Zithromax that is created by the manufacturer.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. It should not be taken as an endorsement of any specific medication or treatment. Individual health conditions and responses to treatment can vary greatly; therefore, this information should not be seen as a guarantee of safety, suitability, or effectiveness for any particular individual. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical advice and before making any decisions regarding your health or treatment plans.

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