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Why is this medication prescribed?
Azithromycin is an antibiotic used to treat certain infections caused by bacteria, such as pneumonia; venereal disease (VD); and ear, lung, skin, and throat infections. In acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients, azithromycin is used to prevent pneumonia, called disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection. Antibiotics will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Azithromycin comes as a capsule, tablet, and liquid to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day for 2-5 days. For VD, it is taken as a single dose. To prevent Mycobacterium avium complex, it is given once weekly. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take azithromycin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Shake the liquid well before each use to mix the medication evenly.
The capsules and tablets should be taken with a full glass of water.
Continue to take azithromycin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking azithromycin without talking to your doctor.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking azithromycin,
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Take azithromycin liquid at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals. The capsule and tablet may be taken with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from azithromycin are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store the capsules and tablets at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Keep liquid medicine in the refrigerator, tightly closed, and throw away any unused medication after 10 days. Do not freeze. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor will order certain lab tests to check your response to azithromycin.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Your prescription is probably not refillable. If you still have symptoms of infection after you finish the azithromycin, call your doctor.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT