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Zithromax (Azithromycin)

Zithromax is an antibiotic of a broad-spectrum containing azithromycin. It is prescribed to overcome various bacterial infections. It is dispensed with a prescription only.

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Drug class

Zithromax (Azithromycin) is an organic substance from the group of macrolides, a subclass of azalides. This antibiotic was synthesized by pharmacists of the Yugoslav company Pliva in the early 80s. Later it became one of the most effective antibiotics on the global market. But in 2005, the license for the drug expired. Now there are quite a few Azithromycin analogs produced by various pharmaceutical companies all over the world, including Indian manufacturers.

What is it used for?

The antibiotic blocks the production of some vital proteins by bacteria, which makes it possible to arrest their growth and reproduction. Thus, Zithromax has a bacteriostatic but not bactericidal effect. However, it does not mean that this drug is weaker than bactericidal antibiotics because arrest the growth of bacteria in most cases results in the death of the bacterial colony. Incidentally, it has a bactericidal effect in high dosages.

This antibiotic differs in many ways from its predecessors for the better. First of all, it is not destroyed by the action of gastric juice – it is about 300 times more resistant to acids than erythromycin, for example. In addition, it causes a much smaller number of side effects associated with the gastrointestinal tract. In general, macrolides have a much milder, sparing effect on the body and less toxicity compared with the widely spread, but already rather outdated penicillins. Not accidentally, the drug can be used for infants’ treatment.
Zithromax (Azithromycin)_ Anti-Bacterial Antibiotic
The following bacteria are sensitive to the effects of the drug:

  • streptococci;
  • staphylococcus;
  • legionella;
  • chlamydia;
  • mycoplasma;
  • toxoplasma;
  • clostridia;
  • borrelia;
  • Haemophilus influenzae.

How long does it work?

One of the main drug advantages is its long time of excretion from the body. Half of it is eliminated from the body in about 50 hours. This parameter is much more than that for other antibiotics. It means that this antibiotic persists in the body for a long time, and often the drug can have an effect 5-7 days after the end of the course, which is very significant in the treatment of severe and long-lasting infections with a high probability of relapse. Also, this property of the drug can reduce the frequency of its admission and treatment duration. In addition, the low rate of drug withdrawal is expressed in reducing the loading on the liver, which is important for patients with various disorders in the hepatic function.

However, despite the fact that the drug is prone to persist for a long time in the body, it is absorbed into the blood very quickly – its maximum concentration is observed 2.5 hours after administration.

Side effects

Side effects when taking the drug are infrequent. However, they are possible. The most common side effects are associated with the gastrointestinal tract:

  • abdominal pain;
  • stomach ache;
  • diarrhea;
  • nausea;
  • constipation;
  • vomiting (rare).

Do not forget that, like any antibiotic, Zithromax can affect the normal intestinal microflora, which can be expressed in stable dysbacteriosis. Therefore, antibiotic therapy should be combined with probiotic preparations as a means of intestinal microflora restoration. Skin allergies, headache, candidiasis, vaginitis in women, changes in taste and smell, dizziness, insomnia may also occur.

Changes in the composition of the blood, ventricular tachycardia, changes in the QT wave on the cardiogram are possible. Very rarely, there are angioedema, anaphylactic shock, pathological changes in the kidneys, and liver necrosis.


In most cases, in the treatment of acute respiratory infections, the following scheme is used – one dose of the drug – 500 mg per day. You should follow the regimen of the drug application. The maximum interval is 24 hours. The duration of treatment is usually small is 3-5 days.

With infections of the skin and soft tissues, Lyme disease, take 1 g of the drug on the first day, and in the next 4 days – 500 g each. The recommended daily dose is taken once a day.

In the treatment of acne, 0.5 g of the drug is taken in the first 3 days, that is, 1 capsule or tablet of 500 mg per day or 2 tablets of Zithromax 250 per day. Then a break of 4 days is required, and then another 0.5 g is taken every week. In total, you need to take 12 tablets of 500 mg, that is, the course of treatment is 10 weeks.

With uncomplicated urethritis or cervicitis caused by chlamydia, a single dose of 1 g is enough.

In combination therapy from Helicobacter Pylori, it is necessary to take this antibiotic in a dose of 1 g for 3 days over 3 times a day.

Children from 12 years old and with a body weight of more than 45 kg with infections of the respiratory tract, the skin and soft tissues’ infections are prescribed 3 tablets of 500 mg for 3 days.

The dose for children with the weight up to 45 kg is calculated on the basis of their weight – 10 mg/kg per day. The course of treatment is also 3 days.

According to the instructions for use, dose adjustment is not required in the case of moderate violations of the kidneys.

Food intake significantly affects drug digestibility. Therefore, it must be taken 1-2 hours before meals or 2 hours after meals.


Zithromax has and some contraindications. First of all, it is necessary to prescribe with caution the drug to women during pregnancy. This drug is able to penetrate the placental barrier. The experience of women using the drug shows, there was no increase in abnormalities in fetus development. However, in this situation, it is required to contact a specialist for recommendations. The same should be done if you are going to use the drug during breastfeeding.

The drug in the form of intravenous administration is not prescribed to children. Also, children under 12 years old are contraindicated to use this antibiotic. A suspension is not assigned to children under 6 months and weighing less than 5 kg.

The drug is also contraindicated in severe forms of renal or hepatic insufficiency, intolerance to macrolides. With caution, the drug is prescribed in the case of arrhythmias, prolongation of the QT interval on the cardiogram, while taking digoxin and warfarin.
7h2 style=”text-align: center;”>Zithromax and alcohol
If you take Zithromax and alcohol at the same time, the consequences may be most unexpected. The most harmless thing that happens to the patient is the inability to get a positive effect from the treatment. Alcohol consumption enhances intestinal motility. Especially this effect is noticeable in such beverages as beer or wine. After taking such a combination, the active substance is rapidly excreted from the body, not having time to be absorbed into the blood flow. If you take this medicine and alcohol, then the liver will suffer greatly. This medication is quite a strong antibiotic. According to the instructions, it is taken only once a day. The drug has a toxic effect on the liver. In this case, the liver cells die, not having time to remove poisons. Intoxication comes faster and lasts longer.