Zithromax 500mg (Azithromycin): Effective Way To Treat Common Bacterial Infections

Zithromax is a brand name for an antibiotic called azithromycin. Zithromax is commonly prescribed for patients suffering from a number of bacterial infections. When it got approved in 1992, doctors mostly prescribed it to treat respiratory tract infections, but since then the array of Zithromax uses has widened significantly. It is now known that it can be used to address sinus infections, as well as some sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia. In addition, Zithromax turned out to be capable of successfully treating some skin and ear infections. Some patients have also reported using Zithromax to address urinary tract infections, but the results of such treatment have been mixed.

How Does Zithromax Work?

Zithromax is a bacteriostatic antibiotic, which means that the medication itself will not kill the bacteria. It will merely inhibit their growth and multiplication by blocking their access to a chemical they need. Then, with the bacteria cut off from the chemical and deprived of the possibility to multiply, the immune system can kill them off quickly and efficiently.

A patient needs to take Zithromax for at least several days before any visible result can be observed. This is because Zithromax needs to be stored in the body first until the concentration of the antibiotic in a patient’s blood becomes sufficient to attack the bacteria. When the necessary concentration is reached, the medication is transported with the blood flow to the infected area of the body so that it can start working there.

Zithromax is a rather effective medication (over 90% of patients get better after completing a Zithromax treatment course). It also has a fairly low minimum inhibitory concentration, which means that the concentration of Zithromax in a patient’s blood sufficient to suppress bacterial activity is lower as compared to many other antibiotics. It has also performed quite well in numerous clinical trials and studies, which makes Zithromax one of the best choices to address a wide variety of common infections.

Before You Start Taking Zithromax Generic

Generally, Zithromax is not an over the counter medication, but the advance of online pharmacies made it a lot easier to obtain prescription medicines without consulting a healthcare provider first. However, it is still advisable that you schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss the possible implications of Zithromax on your body and general health. Certain conditions and diseases might make it dangerous for you to use Zithromax.

To avoid possible complications and adverse reactions, be sure to inform your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have ever suffered from the following medical conditions:

  • Jaundice
  • Any liver disorder
  • Any kidney disorder
  • Heart rhythm disorder
  • Long QT syndrome (a rare heart condition)
  • Myasthenia gravis (rare neuromuscular disorder)

In addition, you should make a list of all your allergic reactions that you are aware of and present it to your healthcare provider. If you have clarithromycin, erythromycin or telithromycin allergies, you’re highly likely to be allergic to Zithromax as well. Even if you do not have any of these allergies, you might still be allergic to one of the medication’s inactive components, so it is important to keep track of all your allergies and make your medical practitioner aware of them before you start using Zithromax. You should also mention any previous uses of Zithromax to your doctor, especially if the antibiotic had caused any health issues (liver disorders are the most common problem among patients who used Zithromax).

Currently, there is no information available as to whether Zithromax is dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn children, so it is assumed to be relatively safe for them. Nevertheless, it is advisable that you tell your doctor if you are pregnant or intend to get pregnant in the foreseeable future so that he/she can decide whether it is safe for you to use Zithromax. If you are a breastfeeding mother, you should not use Zithromax without consulting your medical practitioner first because it is still unknown whether Zithromax can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Zithromax is not to be used in children who are less than 6 months old.

Side Effects

Despite being a relatively safe and effective medication, Zithromax still has some adverse effects which might force you to have your Zithromax dosage reduced or even canceled. During clinical trials, only 12% of all patients reported experiencing any side effects at all, which is a good result for any medication, particularly an antibiotic.

The more serious adverse effects were reported by less than 1% of all trials participants, and they are as following:

  • Feeling extremely tired
  • Vomiting
  • Allergic reactions
  • Dizziness
  • Severe headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Severe jaundice

These adverse effects are rather uncommon and generally not life-threatening, but if you happen to develop any of them, you should contact your doctor immediately because you might need to stop using Zithromax or get professional medical help to relieve the symptoms.

There is also another group of Zithromax side effects – ones which are very uncommon but could potentially become life-threatening if left unattended.

Should you find yourself experiencing any of the following conditions after you have started taking Zithromax, seek professional medical help immediately:

  • Severe skin reactions which trigger the following symptoms: skin itching, painful skin, pain in the eyes, swollen facial area, sore throat, fever, red/purple skin rashes that cause skin irritation which leads to itching, blistering, peeling off and pain
  • Prolonged diarrhea that is watery or contains blood and is accompanied by severe stomach pains
  • Severe headaches that are accompanied by chest pains, nausea, feeling dizzy, losing consciousness and having an irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Any signs of liver disorders, such as unusually dark urine, appetite loss or decrease, pale-colored stools, tiredness, nausea, severe jaundice, pain in the upper stomach area

If you report these adverse effects and have them addressed as soon as possible, they should not pose a serious health to your health and overall well-being. However, if left unattended, they could progress and result in a serious health condition which could worsen the quality of your life quite noticeably.

The side effects that you are most likely to develop include diarrhea, stomach pains, mild to moderate headaches and feeling dizzy or nauseous. These symptoms most likely show that your body is adjusting itself to the effect of Zithromax. Normally, they should go away of their own accord within 24 hours after you have started taking Zithromax. Should they persist, consult your medical practitioner about them because you might need to have your Zithromax dosage reduced.

Recently, healthcare professionals have become worried about the ability of Zithromax to affect the heartbeat. Studies conducted throughout 2012 and 2013 have shown that in patients who are predisposed to cardiovascular problems, Zithromax could cause dangerous heart rhythm disorders which could potentially be fatal. This was true for senior patients and patients who suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or have a relatively high risk of heart failure. No dangerous heart rhythm alterations were observed in younger patients, as well as senior patients who did not experience any of the abovementioned conditions. Thus, it is safe to assume that Zithromax does not pose any threats to most potential users.

Warnings and Interactions of Azithromycin

You should bear in mind that even a healthcare professional can mistake a viral infection for a bacterial one and prescribe you Zithromax for no good reason. If you try to diagnose yourself instead of consulting your doctor, you are highly likely to do it and take Zithromax without any real need for it. This is not only bad for your stomach, but also develops resistance to Zithromax, so that it is less likely to be effective next time you use it. In that case, you will need to have another antibiotic prescribed to you.

You should keep using Zithromax for as long as it was prescribed to you even if you feel better before your treatment course is supposed to be over. If you stop your Zithromax treatment prematurely, you risk leaving some of the bacteria unharmed. They will keep living in your body, multiplying and will eventually cause another outbreak of the infection. You could use Zithromax again to suppress this outbreak, but the remaining bacteria are highly likely to develop a resistance to Zithromax, so it will be virtually useless against them. What is more, you could pass the “evolved” bacteria with Zithromax resistance to other people, and so there is a slight probability that that particular bacteria type will evolve past being suppressed by Zithromax. Thus, it is highly important to always keep taking your medication for as long as it has been prescribed to you (except for cases when it is causing dangerous side effects).

You might feel tempted to ask your doctor to prescribe you antibiotics even if he/she says that you have a viral infection and do not need antibiotics. You might think that they will help you feel better faster, but they will be ineffective and you will only waste money.

Zithromax is known to make some patients feel dizzy and/or nauseated, so you should refrain from driving a car or operating heavy machinery until you make sure that you can perform those tasks safely. Zithromax is also capable of increasing a patient’s skin sensitivity to sunlight, so someone who is taking Zithromax is more likely to get sunburned. Consequently, it is advisable that you use sunscreen and/or wear protective clothing if you have to spend several hours outside in the sunlight during your Zithromax treatment.

Just like many other antibiotics, Zithromax is capable of upsetting your stomach and you might find yourself suffering from mild diarrhea. If you experience such symptoms, you should try taking Zithromax with food so that the stomach irritation can be reduced. If diarrhea persists for several days and/or gradually becomes worse, you should consult your medical practitioner because this condition might be dangerous for you. You should do the same if you notice any signs of liver malfunction (such as jaundice, inexplicably dark urine, tiredness, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting).

Zithromax can be used to treat children who are older than 6 months, but it is advisable that it is only used if clearly needed as it is still unknown whether it can harm a developing organism. The same is true for senior patients, especially those who are predisposed to cardiovascular problems.

Zithromax may interact with other medicines you take, and the outcome of such interactions is most likely to be negative. They will either reduce the effectiveness of Zithromax or increase your chances of developing the medication’s side effects. Zithromax is known to have a particularly dangerous interaction with blood thinning drugs, so if you are taking blood thinners, make sure that your healthcare provider is aware of that fact. To get the fullest information about Zithromax interactions with other pharmaceuticals, ask your healthcare provider for more details. It will be helpful if you make a list of all medicines and supplements you are currently taking and show it to your medical practitioner during the appointment.

Usage Instructions

Ideally, you should have a prescription for Zithromax and follow the instructions in it. Do not change the dosage of Zithromax or stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor first. If you see no improvement despite taking Zithromax for several days, you may discuss it with your healthcare provider, but do not stop taking the drug of your own accord.

Zithromax can be obtained in two forms: pills and liquid. The pills are available in two different dosages: Zithromax 250 mg and Zithromax 500 mg. They are oval in shape and have a white coating. Your local pharmacy will most likely be offering to buy Zithromax in a 30-pill pack, stored in a bottle. The liquid form of Zithromax is distributed in single-dose packets. The manufacturer has chosen to offer two types of boxes with Zithromax packets: the first one contains only 3 of them, while the second, bigger box, will get you 10 packets of Zithromax.

Many people know the brand name “Zithromax” because of the Z-Pak. The Z-Pak is generally used to address some common infections of the respiratory tract, but doctors may also prescribe it for other purposes. Zithromax Z-Pak contains 5 doses of the medication that should be taken over 5 days. The patients start with one double dose, and in 24 hours they have to take  Zithromax again, but this time in a smaller, regular dose. The regular dose is then repeated for the three following days. The Z-Pak is highly effective due to the fact that the first double dose builds up the concentration of the antibiotic in a patient’s blood quite fast. Also, it is easier for many patients to use the Z-Pak instead of regular Zithromax because it is harder to accidentally miss a dose when it only has to be taken once a day. In addition, there is no need to calculate the correct dosages, as the Z-Pak comes with standard “predefined” dosages.

Alternatively, if you are suffering from an ear infection or a sexually transmitted disease, your healthcare provider might prescribe you to take Zithromax just once, in one big dosage.

Ideally, you should take Zithromax with a glass of water. Some other liquids, such as tea or juice, will work just fine, too, but avoid taking it with alcohol or caffeinated drinks because doing so will increase your chances of suffering from Zithromax adverse effects, particularly headaches and nausea. Food does not have an impact on Zithromax, so you can take this medication before, after or at mealtimes.

Zithromax is an antibiotic that has to gradually build up its presence in your blood before it is ready to strike the bacteria. Thus, it is recommended that you try to stick to a schedule when taking it: allow even time periods to pass between taking Zithromax doses during the whole treatment course. If you forget to take a dose, take Zithromax as soon as you remember about it. If you have to take the next dose soon, do not take a double dose to make up for the one you missed and just take it after the Zithromax dose that should have been the last one. Taking a double dose will likely increase your chances of developing an adverse reaction to Zithromax, so it is inadvisable that you do that. If you overdosed on Zithromax, you should seek medical attention immediately because the high concentration of Zithromax in your blood could be dangerous for your health.

Zithromax is to be stored in a dry place away from moisture and heat. It is not recommended that you store this medication in a bathroom cabinet. You should also make sure that your Zithromax storage is out of bounds for children and pets.

You should not give your Zithromax pills or packets to anyone, even if their symptoms are exactly the same as yours. If your treatment is over and you still have some Zithromax left, you should ask your local pharmacist (or your healthcare provider) for details on how to dispose of it in a proper way.