Azithromycin - Uses - Dosages - Side Effects - Precautions

Azithromycin: Frequently Asked Questions Answered

What is Azithromycin?

Azithromycin is a macrolide-type antibiotic. This means that it kills bacteria by inhibiting the particular protein required for their cell growth.

Doctors prescribe azithromycin to treat an array of bacterial infections. It works best against many gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria like Streptococci, Staphylococci, and other similar pyogenic bacteria. A gram dose of azithromycin has shown a cure rate of 97% in patients.

Azithromycin is well-known in the market by the brand name Zithromax.

What are the uses of Azithromycin?

Azithromycin’s uses lie in treating:

  • Nose infections like sinusitis
  • Throat infections such as pharyngitis and tonsillitis
  • Specific respiratory infections like pneumonia and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) that inflame the lungs
  • Sexually transmitted diseases such as urethritis, cervicitis, and chlamydia
  • Skin infections like Lyme’s disease
  • Certain ear infections in children
  • Gastrointestinal infections
  • Diseases caused by ticks like babesiosis
  • Traveler’s diarrhea


Depending on your health and symptoms, your doctor will prescribe an appropriate dosage of the antibiotic.

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What are the side effects of Azithromycin?

Common side effects of azithromycin include:

  • Headache
  • nausea
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting

If any of these effects persist or worsen, get a medical opinion immediately.

The chances of getting adverse effects from using azithromycin are extremely rare. However, some instances are:

  • Liver injuries
  • Cardiovascular arrhythmia
  • Allergic reactions
  • Chronic diarrhea

Consult our medical experts at Yashoda Hospitals if you have any other side effects or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.

What is Azithromycin

Uses of Azithromycin

Side effects of Azithromycin

S.no Product Name Dosage Form
1. Azithral 500mg Tablet
2. Azee 500mg Tablet
3. Azicip 500mg Tablet


Frequently Asked Questions about Azithromycin

1. Is azithromycin safe in pregnancy?

Reproduction studies in animals have shown no harmful effects to the fetus due to azithromycin. However, there are no conclusive and well-controlled studies on pregnant women. So, if possible, avoid azithromycin when you are pregnant. Your doctor may prescribe it if the benefits of taking it are greater than the risks.

2. How to take azithromycin?

Depending upon your health condition, the doctor will prescribe a suitable dosage of azithromycin. It is available in multiple dosage forms like tablets, capsules, eye drops, or a liquid suspension. In patients suffering from chronic infection, it is administered intravenously.

3. Is azithromycin a steroid?

No. Azithromycin is an antibiotic that helps treat bacterial infections. Antibiotics and steroids differ in their nature of action as the former has antibacterial properties, whereas steroids have anti-inflammatory properties. Several studies show that the combined prescription of antibiotics and steroids gives promising and fast recovery in suffering patients.

4. Why is azithromycin given for 3 days only?

Your doctor will first observe the severity of the infection and then decide on the dosage and duration for azithromycin. Azithromycin stays in your body for about 15 days. Keeping this and its side effects in mind, they will prescribe it for anywhere between 3 – 5 days depending upon your condition – 3 being the minimum.

5. Is azithromycin good for sore throat?

Bacterial or viral infection can cause sore throats which may require antibiotic administration. Physicians mostly prescribe penicillin or amoxicillin antibiotics for treating sore throat, as they are more effective against many infections. In rare cases, like when the patient is allergic to penicillin or amoxicillin, azithromycin is recommended.

6. What not to take with azithromycin?

When being prescribed azithromycin, inform your doctor if you're using medication for the heart, gout, or blood. Even the use of antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs may interact with azithromycin and affect your health. Inform your doctor beforehand if you're taking medication like:

  • digoxin
  • colchicine
  • phenytoin
  • antacids containing magnesium or aluminum
  • nelfinavir
  • warfarin
  • rifabutin or moxifloxacin
  • simvastatin or atorvastatin

7. How does azithromycin work?

To multiply and grow, bacteria require a specific protein. Azithromycin binds to the bacterial ribosome and inhibits protein synthesis, which stops protein production. Because of the lack of protein, bacteria will not grow or replicate. This kills the bacteria and reduces the bacterial infection in the body.

8. How effective is azithromycin for UTIs?

Many antibiotics are used to combat UTIs like gentamicin, amoxicillin, amikacin, and others. Doctors recommend azithromycin antibiotics to treat UTIs caused by sexually transmitted diseases. Azithromycin is also particularly effective against one strain of bacteria – enteroaggregative E. Coli, which causes chronic diarrhea and urinary tract infections.

9. Is azithromycin safe for diabetics?

A few studies have suggested a slight fluctuation in blood sugar levels after taking azithromycin. As diabetic patients are prone to UTIs, many infections can lead to serious conditions. Azithromycin provides several benefits to diabetic patients by protecting them from several infections without significant adverse effects. Therefore, it is completely safe to take azithromycin.

10. Does azithromycin cause sleepiness?

Consumption of azithromycin antibiotics does not cause sleepiness. However, if you are taking any other medication along with azithromycin, it may cause sleepiness. So, if you experience drowsiness, extreme fatigue, sleep problems, or any other side effects, consult your doctor and specify your symptoms to find an alternative method.



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      Disclaimer: The information provided herein is accurate, updated and complete as per the best practices of the Company. Please note that this information should not be treated as a replacement for physical medical consultation or advice. We do not guarantee the accuracy and the completeness of the information so provided. The absence of any information and/or warning to any drug shall not be considered and assumed as an implied assurance of the Company. We do not take any responsibility for the consequences arising out of the aforementioned information and strongly recommend you for a physical consultation in case of any queries or doubts.