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Azithromycin What You Should Know

by Eric Summers
Azithromycin is an antibiotic drug that is commonly prescriped to fight bacterial infections such as pneumonia, skin and ear infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and bronchitis. You may have been prescribed azithromycin under the trade name of Zithromax. As with any antibiotic drug, it is best to educate yourself to some degree about the product before and during your treatment.

Azithromycin may be prescribed to you in the form of capsules, tablets, or a powder which is used to create a “suspension”. Suspensions are liquid forms of the drug that are more easily swallowed by children and adults who may have difficulty with taking pills or capsules.

When using the suspension form of the drug, make sure to follow the directions provided carefully. Once you have created the suspension and taken it, it is often recommended to add more water to the cup and consume it to ensure that you have taken all of the required dosage.

The capsule and suspension form of azithromycin should be consumed on an empty stomach to ensure quick absorption into the body. When taking the capsules, drink a full 8 ounce glass of water to provide enough liquid for the capsules outer coating to quickly dissolve.

When taking the tablet form of the drug, it is not necessary to have an empty stomach.

Common antacids such as Rolaids, Pepcid, or Mylanta can inhibit the effectiveness of azithromycin if taken too soon before or after taking azithromycin. It is recommended to wait at least an hour to take azithromycin after taking a dose of antacids.

Antibiotics work in the body to fight bacteria. Once a bacterial infection begins to subside, you may begin to lose some or all of the symptoms associated with the infection. This is not a sign that it is okay to stop taking azithromycin. You must complete the entire “cycle” of azithromycin treatment even if you feel 100% better. Failure to complete the dosing can result in the infection returning and being resistant to azithromycin.

If you miss a dosage, do not “double up” on your next dosage. Instead take the regular amount and resume the schedule. If you miss 2 or more doses, you should consult with your physician or pharmacist about how to best resume the treatment.

Azithromycin users may experience some side effects, although these are very rare. However just because side effects are rare, it does not mean that you will not experience them. Every individual is unique, and may react to drugs in a different manner than other people you know who have taken azithromycin without any adverse reactions.

Most users who have a reaction to azithromycin will suffer discomfort related to the gastrointestinal tract. This means that you may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomitting. These are not all of the possible side effects, and any change in your condition after beginning azithromycin should be reported to your doctor at once. If he or she believes that you may be sensitive to azithromycin, he will be able to prescribe a replacement medication.

You know your body better than anyone, and you know what is “right” in how you feel. You should never ignore possible side effects from azithromycin or any other drug that you begin to take. Reactions that are mild at the beginning of the treatment can become more severe later on, so it is imperative that you consult with your doctor pharmacist at once if you have any concern.

If you are taking any other medication when you are prescribed azithromycin, or if you believe that you may begin taking any other drug, consult with your physician or pharmacist about possible problems related to taking the drugs together.

Azithromycin is eliminated from the body through the liver. Because of this, if you have any form of liver disease or known liver problems, make sure that the prescribing doctor is aware of this.

Pregnant and nursing women should consult with their doctor about the safety of taking azithromycin. Make sure to inform the prescribing doctor about your situation if he or she is not your natal care specialist. You can never give your doctor too much information, and you can never ask too many questions, especially when the health of your unborn or infant child is at stake.

Azithromax is a very commonly prescribed drug, and is generally regarded as safe. Check the labelling of the prescription package carefully to ensure that you fully understand how much and how often you should take the drug. If there is any confusion, consult with the pharmacist before you leave the store.

Education is the key to drug safety, and your doctor and pharmacist are the best resource for any questions or concerns you may have about taking azithromycin or giving the medicine to your children. Online resources can be helpful, but should never be considered as valuable, informative, or as up to date as the information that can be provided to you by a trained medical expert.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Kasey January 14, 2011, 12:53 am

    I was just wondering how long the tablet version of the pill generally takes to dissolve in the stomach. About an hour and a half after I took the pills (1 gram worth) I threw up. I just need to know if they had time to absorb into my stomach or if they came back up.

    • Jim May 12, 2011, 3:56 pm

      how long should you wait to drink alcohol if you took the 4 tablets at once treatment ?

      and what if even after the treatment like a week later i am still experiencing abdominal pain?

    • Brooke July 11, 2016, 8:01 pm

      My doctor told me it most likely dissolved. I vommited 40 minutes after taking it because I’m pregnant. They said it depends on if your stomach is filled or not. I didn’t eat anything today and took it so it dissolves faster. Eating will affect the time it takes to digest.

  • jade June 8, 2011, 10:13 pm

    Can you only get this medication prescribed by your doctor? Do they not sell it unless you havent been prescribed?

  • david October 9, 2011, 1:31 am

    I am taking azithromycin and have experienced diarrhea. How long should these side effects last?

  • precious February 18, 2012, 11:23 am

    Im taking azithromycin 250mg I get 4 pills at the same time for one dose but like but 5mins later I threw up but do still I get a cure from chlamydia?

  • Liz March 9, 2012, 5:34 pm

    My doctor prescribed azithromycin which I have to take for 10 weeks, is this too long?

  • Ashley May 11, 2013, 12:00 am

    I took 2 tablet forms of the medication and threw up 4 hours later, was that long enough for the pill to dissolve and still be in my system?

  • MarCia post April 4, 2017, 10:40 pm

    Any reason why after starting the z pak my congestion got worse?

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