Zithromax is a medication you may have heard of (or used) before. However, do you know what it contains? Do you know what its applications are? What about benefits and side effects? If the previous is a mystery to you, then keep reading. We’ll break down what Zithromax is below!
(First) – How Zithromax Works
Zithromax is just a brand name. Its real name is azithromycin, and is part of the medicinal class called “macrolide antibiotics.”
The compound is used to stop bacteria from creating certain harmful proteins. It’s mainly used to treat the following bacterial infections:
- Chlamydia trachomatis
- Mycobacterium avium
(Second) – Benefits and Detailed Uses
Zithromax treats the following:
- Combats susceptible bacteria that may affects the ears, skin, and lungs
- Treats certain sexually transmitted diseases, though it isn’t reliable for the treatment of syphilis or gonorrhea
- Used specifically to treat mycobacterium avium in HIV patients, and is sometimes used in combination with other antibiotics
- Penetrates well into human tissue, and is active against a multitude of microorganisms
- Is better tolerated than alternative medicines and has better tissue penetration than other antibiotics, such as erythromycin
- Maybe used to combat bacterial infections in penicillin intolerant individuals
- Can be administered once per day, making it an easy habit
(Third) – Side Effects and Negatives
The following side effects may be experienced by those between 18-60, lack medical conditions, and are not on other medications:
- Liver damage that may stop liver functioning, often to fatal levels. Zithromax cannot be used if liver dysfunction signs manifest
- Headaches, fatigue, flatulence, dyspepsia, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea
- Diarrhea associated with Clostridium difficile is another side effect of almost every antibacterial agent. Medication should be stopped for those prone to severe diarrhea
- May affect heartbeat rhythm, leading to cardiac arrhythmias.
Risks increase in those with histories of QT prolongation, those with low magnesium and potassium levels in blood, and for patients taking anti-arrhythmic medications (like procainamide, admiodarone, sotalol)
- Can lead to photosensitive and acute skin reactions. Should be discontinued if rashes develop
- Can interact with other medicines (such as nelfinavir and warfarin)
(Fourth) – Zithromax in Summation
It’s an antibiotic that can treat different infections. It seems to better penetrate human tissue, and is more tolerable than similar treatments. However, its main advantage is the dosage. Patients only need to take it once a day, with side effects not common (though diarrhea may occur occasionally).
(Finally) – Some Tips for Zithromax Use
- You can take it before or after a meal, however it is better tolerated if used after
- Never ingest magnesium or aluminum containing antacids with Zithromax
- Should be stopped immediately if an allergic reaction is triggered. Seek immediate medical advice
- Follow the prescription instructions and finish the course as given by your doctor, even if you experience immediate recovery. Stopping doses or not finishing treatment reduces its effectiveness and promote bacterial resistance
- While diarrhea does occur often with Zithromax, be sure to contact your doctor if the diarrhea contains blood that is excessively watery. Diarrhea may sometimes occur 1-2 months after beginning or ending a Zithromax course
Author: Dr. Laura Elizabeth Mutter, graduated from the Tulane University School of Medicine in 2003. She works in Houma, LA and 1 other location and specializes in Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. Dr. Mutter is affiliated with Leonard J Chabert Medical Center.