Treats bacterial infections. This medicine is a macrolide antibiotic.
There may be other brand names for this medicine.
Zithromax, Zithromax Tri-Pak, Zithromax Z Pack, Zithromax Z-Pak, Zmax
When This Medicine Should Not Be Used
Do not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to azithromycin, erythromycin, or any other macrolide or ketolide antibiotic (such as clarithromycin, telithromycin). Do not use this medicine if you have a history of liver problems associated with prior azithromycin treatment.
How to Use This Medicine
Capsule, Liquid, Packet, Powder, Tablet
- Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
- This medicine comes with patient instructions. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
- Multiple dose (Zithromax® oral liquid or tablets):
- You may take this medicine with or without food.
- Keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon.
- Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
- Shake the bottle well before you measure the medicine.
- Single dose (Zmax® extended-release oral liquid or powder):
- Take this medicine on an empty stomach. Take your dose at least 1 hour before you eat, or 2 hours after you eat.
- Call your doctor right away if you vomit within 1 hour after you take the medicine. You might need more medicine.
- You must take the liquid within 12 hours after the pharmacist gives it to you.
- Shake the bottle well before you measure the medicine. Measure your dose with a marked measuring spoon, cup, or syringe if you only need to use part of the liquid in the bottle.
- Open 1 packet and pour all of the medicine into a glass with about 2 ounces (¼ cup) of water. Mix well and drink the medicine right away. Pour another 2 ounces (¼ cup) of water into the same glass, and drink the remaining medicine.
If a dose is missed:
- This medicine is sometimes given as a single dose. If you are taking multiple doses and you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine
- Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
- Oral liquid for multiple doses: Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Use it within 10 days of filling the prescription. Throw away any leftover medicine when you are finished with your treatment.
- Oral liquid for 1 dose only: Store at room temperature. Do not store in the refrigerator or allow the medicine to freeze.
- Extended-release oral liquid: Do not refrigerate or freeze the extended-release oral liquid. Throw away any unused liquid.
- Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
- Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid
Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are also using cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®), digoxin (Digitek®, Lanoxin®), nelfinavir (Viracept®), an ergot medicine (such as dihydroergotamine, ergotamine, Cafergot®, Ergomar®, Wigraine®), medicine for seizures (such as phenytoin, Dilantin®), or a blood thinner (such as warfarin, Coumadin®, Jantoven®).
- Tell your doctor if you are also using medicine for a heart rhythm problem (such as amiodarone, disopyramide, dofetilide, procainamide, quinidine, sotalol, Betapace®, Cardioquin®, Cordarone®, Procanbid®, Quinaglute®, Tikosyn®).
- Zithromax® for multiple doses: Do not take an antacid that contains magnesium or aluminum at the same time you take Zithromax®. An antacid will affect how the medicine works.
- Zmax® for single dose: Antacids will not affect Zmax®, so you can take an antacid at the same time if you want to.
Warnings While Using This Medicine
- Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, heart rhythm problems (such as QT prolongation, slow heartbeat), heart failure, low potassium or magnesium in the blood, or myasthenia gravis.
- Serious skin reactions can occur. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have blistering, peeling, or loose skin, red skin lesions, severe acne or skin rash, sores or ulcers on the skin, or fever or chills while you are using this medicine or after you finish treatment.
- Stop using this medicine and call your doctor if you have signs of liver problems, such as yellow skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, pain on your upper right side, nausea, and vomiting.
- If you have severe diarrhea, ask your doctor before taking any medicine to stop the diarrhea.It may occur 2 months or more after you stop using this medicine.
- Contact your doctor right away if you have any changes to your heart rhythm. You might feel dizzy or faint, or you might have a fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat. Make sure your doctor knows if you or anyone in your family has ever had a heart rhythm problem such as QT prolongation.
- This medicine needs time to work, so you may not feel better right away. If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor.
- This medicine should be used only to treat a bacterial infection. This medicine will not treat viral infections such as the flu or the common cold.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine
Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:
- Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
- Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
- Chest pain, fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat
- Dark-colored urine, pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, pain in your upper stomach, yellow skin or eyes
- Double vision, muscle weakness
- Fainting, dizziness, lightheadedness
- Severe diarrhea that may contain blood, black stools
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:
- Mild diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain