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Azithromycin (az-ith-roe-MYE-sin) is used to treat bacterial infections in many different parts of the body. It is also used to prevent Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) disease in patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It works by killing bacteria or preventing their growth. However, this medicine will not work for colds, flu, or other viral infections. Azithromycin may be used for other problems as determined by your doctor.
Azithromycin is available only with your doctor's prescription, in the following dosage forms:
Before Using This Medicine
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For azithromycin, the following should be considered:
Allergies- Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to azithromycin or to any related medicines such as erythromycin. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy- Azithromycin has not been studied in pregnant women. However, azithromycin has not been shown to cause birth defects or other problems in animal studies.
Breast-feeding- It is not known whether azithromycin passes into breast milk. Although most medicines pass into breast milk in small amounts, many of them may be used safely while breast-feeding. Mothers who are taking this medicine and who wish to breast-feed should discuss this with their doctor.
Children- This medicine has been tested in a limited number of children up to the age of 16. In effective doses, the medicine has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than it does in adults.
Older adults- This medicine has been tested in a limited number of elderly patients and has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems in older people than it does in younger adults.
Other medicines- Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking azithromycin, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you are taking any of the following:
Other medical problems- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of azithromycin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Medicine
Azithromycin capsules and pediatric oral suspension should be taken at least 1 hour before or at least 2 hours after meals. Azithromycin tablets and adult single dose oral suspension may be taken with or without food.
To help clear up your infection completely, keep taking azithromycin for the full time of treatment , even if you begin to feel better after a few days. If you stop taking this medicine too soon, your symptoms may return.
The dose of azithromycin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label . The following information includes only the average doses of azithromycin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The number of capsules or tablets or the amount of suspension that you take depends on the medical problem for which you are taking azithromycin.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
To store this medicine:
Precautions While Using This Medicine
If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
Side Effects of This Medicine
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Stop taking this medicine and get emergency help immediately if any of the following side effects occur :
Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.
Once a medicine has been approved for marketing for a certain use, experience may show that it is also useful for other medical problems. Although these uses are not included in product labeling, azithromycin is used in certain patients with the following medical condition:
Other than the above information, there is no additional information relating to proper use, precautions, or side effects for this use.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT