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Azithromycin Tablet

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Azithromycin Tablet

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Detailed knowledge about the medicine (drug) to be taken is necessary to avoid any unwanted reaction. One such drug is Azithromycin.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Arul Amuthan L

Published At January 23, 2019
Reviewed AtAugust 10, 2023


Drugs (medicines) are a boon to the recent era of various diseases. Some are so commonly prescribed and even sold over-the-counter in various places. Hence, detailed knowledge about the medicine you take is necessary to avoid any unwanted reaction. One such drug is Azithromycin.

  • It is an antibacterial drug that belongs to the macrolide group. It prevents the growth of bacteria by preventing the synthesis of protein.

  • This can be taken orally as it is not affected by acids and also does not require protection from gastric acids. Its absorption is believed to be greater when taken empty stomach, but mostly, advised to take with food.

  • Commercially, it is available as Zithromax. Though it is available in various oral forms (oral -suspension and tablets, eye drops, intravenous) and doses (250, 500, 600 mg), different for pediatric, adult or geriatric ages, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking it.

  • The drug should not be used in children below 6 months of age.


It is used to treat various infections such as:

  • Prevention and treatment of acute exacerbation of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) caused due to bacterias.

  • Pneumonia which is community-acquired.

  • Certain skin conditions or infections like cellulitis, erysipelas, folliculitis, etc.

  • Urinary tract infections like urethritis, cervicitis.

  • Eye infections like trachoma.

  • Ulcer of the genitalia.

  • Acute sinusitis caused by bacterias.

  • Ear infections like otitis media.

  • Throat infections like pharyngitis, tonsillitis.

Azithromycin Interactions:

A drug can interact with any other medicine that you are taking and show some unwanted effects or desired effect will be diminished. Azithromycin can interact with various medications, vitamins or any herbal medication you are taking and hence, it is advisable to discuss with your doctor about the drug details before taking it.

Some medicines can cause serious interactions and may need medical attention, like:

  • Nelfinavir: If you take Azithromycin with this, you may notice liver or hearing problems.
  • Warfarin: This combination may lead to increased bleeding.

Consumption of this drug with mild alcohol will not show any serious side-effects but moderate to high alcohol intake may increase the side-effects.


Just like every other drug, this medicine also has its own side-effects which are as follows:

  • Nausea, vomiting.

  • Diarrhea.

  • Pain in the abdomen.

  • Dizziness.

  • A headache.

These are milder forms of unwanted effects and may go within some time. There are some serious side effects that require stoppage of the medicine and immediate medical attention, and they are as follows:

  • Liver issues which can show symptoms like weakness, fatigue, upper abdominal pain, yellow discoloration of the skin and mucous membrane, dark urine.

  • Irregular rhythm of the heart.

  • Allergic reactions like difficulty in breathing, rashes, swelling of lips, throat, tongue, face, etc.

Drug Warnings:

Certain conditions or diseases make it a contra-indication for the user to take this medicine as that can cause an adverse reaction. Some of them are as follows:

  • Allergic reactions: Inpatients who have had allergic reactions to this are advised not to take it.

  • Myasthenia gravis.

  • Those who suffer from the abnormal rhythm of the heart.

  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: The drug can pass through breast-milk. Hence, it is necessary to talk to your gynecologist before consuming the drug in case of both pregnancy and breastfeeding.

In case of overdose, contact the emergency medical team for immediate medical help. Inappropriate usage of this drug will lead to the development of drug resistance to the bacteria, hence should not be used without physician’s advice.

Alternatives for Azithromycin:

In case, the drug is contraindicated for you, the doctor will prescribe you an alternative drug which can be any of the following like Amoxycillin with Clavulanic acid, Ciprofloxacin, Doxycycline, Cephalexin, Clindamycin, Levofloxacin, Sulfamethoxazole or Trimethoprim.

Although it is a very common drug prescribed with a higher safety margin, it has its own side-effects and hence, it is necessary to consult your physician before taking it. Online medical platforms have made it very easy to consult a doctor to help you with the doubts related to this drug.

Frequently Asked Questions


Which Infection Is Treated by Azithromycin?

An antibiotic like Azithromycin can be used to treat infections caused by bacteria, such as skin infections, respiratory infections, eye infections, ear infections, and sexually transmitted infections.


Can You Take Azithromycin for Five Days?

Azithromycin can be taken for five days, but it depends on the condition being treated and the dosage. Usually, 500 mg for five days is the dosing regime proven to be safe and effective in treating bacterial infections.


How To Reduce the Side Effects of Azithromycin?

To reduce the side effects of Azithromycin, you should take this drug at the same time every day.


Is Azithromycin Safe For Kidneys?

Azithromycin can cause rare but serious side effects in the kidneys, like kidney infections, kidney damage, and even kidney failure. The symptoms of kidney failure due to intake of Azithromycin may include:
Metallic taste in the mouth.
- Ammonia breath.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Changes in urination.
- Swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, face, and hands.
- Fatigue.
- Skin rashes or itching.
- Shortness of breath.
- Dizziness.
- Feeling cold.
- Leg pain.


Can Azithromycin Lead to Liver Damage?

The rare but severe side effect of Azithromycin is liver damage. The symptoms of liver damage may include:
- Dark urine.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Clay-colored stools.
- Abdominal pain.
- Fatigue.
- Skin discoloration.
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Dr. Arul Amuthan L
Dr. Arul Amuthan L



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