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Azithromycin Uses & Dosage

Generic Name: Azithromycin
Brands Names: Zithromax, Zmax, Z Pak

Price Range: $0.45 – $2.45
Dosage: 100mg / 250mg / 500mg

What is Zithromax?

Azithromycin is an effective medication to treat various infections. In fact, Azithromycin is a generic medication that is sold on the market under different names. In the USA, it is usually known as Zithromax.

The medicine was first invented in the 1980s in Croatia, although the Pfizer Company later bought the right to manufacture it within the United States.

Compared to other antibiotics, Azithromycin is much more effective in treating a series of infections. Doctors prescribe this medication in small doses that they are certain will be sufficient to cure the illness. However, the side effects of Zithromax may be more dangerous than are those of other antibiotics. For example, several years ago it was found that Zithromax increases the risk of heart attacks. In 2013, the FDA issued a warning to this effect.

A description of Zithromax

A group of Croatian researchers working for the Pilva Company discovered the effectiveness and antibacterial features of Azithromycin in 1980. Within a few years, the company signed an agreement with Pfizer to distribute the medication to the United States and Western Europe.
Pfizer managed to buy the rights to produce an antibiotic based on Azithromycin in 1992. It called the medication Zithromax. At first, the FDA approved the drug only for the treatment of respiratory and skin infections; however, as the years passed, the approval was updated to include a series of other diseases.

A pack of Zithromax consists of five pills and is called a Z-pak (the initial letter of Zithromax and pack). A course of treatment involves taking only a single tablet per day for five days. This dosage is smaller than is that of many other famous antibiotics. One can also take Zithromax in liquid form, or even in extended release liquid form.

How to Use Zithromax

When FDA first approved Zithromax as an effective antibiotic, it was used in the treatment of uncomplicated skin infections, sore throats, and such illnesses as adult sinusitis and acute bronchitis. Later, a number of other illnesses were included in this list, such as the genital ulcer disease chlamydia, as well as urethritis, pneumonia, and pharyngitis, among others. Moreover, it has been proved that Zithromax is effective in curing children’s tonsillitis, pharyngitis, pneumonia, and middle ear infections.

However, even though Zithromax is appropriate for treating pneumonia, it is categorically forbidden for those patients suffering from pneumonia who have a risk factor with regard to taking oral medication.
Another crucial aspect to consider when taking Zithromax is the effectiveness of the medication in combating only certain types of bacteria. If the patient takes an excessive dosage of the drug to treat unsusceptible bacteria, his or her condition will deteriorate, and bacteria that are entirely resistant to Zithromax treatment will develop.

However, there are numerous of cases in which doctors have prescribed 500 mg of Azithromycin for illnesses other than those mentioned above. For example, sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, as well as diarrhea, babesiosis, whooping cough, and many other infections can be treated successfully with this medication. In addition, patients who have experienced sexual assaults or medical procedures are often prescribed 500 mg of Zithromax.

Alcohol does not reduce the effectiveness of Azithromycin, but it is best to avoid alcohol when taking Zithromax.

How Azithromycin Works

In principle, how Azithromycin works is quite simple. This macrolide antibiotic prevents the growth of infected bacteria by impeding the synthesis of the cell proteins. Without these proteins, the infected bacteria will not grow –the organism’s infected cells will just die off, or the immune system will kill them.

Possible Side Effects

As with any medication, Azithromycin has side effects. About twelve percent of patients who take it experience some side effect, although the side effects are not severe. Nonetheless, the vast majority of people using the medication tolerate it without harmful consequences.

However, the most common side effects are of a gastrointestinal nature. These can include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal and stomach pains, vomiting, and the like. Headaches, pain in the chest, and eye and jaundice (skin yellowing) are also possible.

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Zithromax reviews

Lizzie Lizzie avatar

I took Zithromax when I was suffering from angina. It is an effective drug. Antibiotics are not a panacea, but sometimes they cannot be avoided. It is very important to consult a doctor before taking this antibiotic. When I was treating the angina I did not have any side effects, but my course of treatment was not long. In the case of protracted diseases, side effects may occur in the form of stomach disorders.

Martha Martha avatar

Almost 10 years had passed since I had taken any antibiotics or even pills. However, sinusitis suddenly came out of nowhere (following three weeks of having a runny nose). Doc prescribed Zithromax and, after the first pill, my head cleared, and the rhinitis decreased. By the end of the course, all the symptoms of the illness had passed. Despite the rather long list of side effects, I did not have any of them. Of course, it is better to take the medicine after a meal so that there will be no problems with the stomach, and to read the instructions very carefully!

Heather Heather avatar

I was prescribed a five-day course of Z-pak after developing a severe flu-like upper respiratory infection plus pain, a sore throat, diarrhea, muscle pain, nausea, and other symptoms. I had an infusion of Rituxan, and all of these symptoms began the next day. I have rheumatoid arthritis and, as my immune system is compromised, the dosage of Rituxan temporarily make it worse. Z-pak started working almost immediately, and two hours after my second 250 mg pill (the first one was 500 mg), I did not feel sick. My breasts are still a bit swollen, but that is bearable. I am impressed.

Bill Bill avatar

I suffer from asthma and frequently have bronchitis. Zithromax helps me a lot to get over it so I’m on my feet in only a week of taking the drug. The best med for me.