Azithromycin is in a class of medications known as macrolide antibiotics. Azithromycin is used to treat some infections as a result of bacteria. Those infections include sexually transmitted disease (STD), infections of the throat, skin, lungs, and ears as well as bronchitis and pneumonia. This medication works by stopping the growth of bacteria. It has no effect on colds, flu or viral infections. Azithromycin is a short-term medication, meaning a medication cycle is usually no more than ten days. Azithromycin is available in pill and liquid form and depending on which type is used can be taken with or without food. Always follow the directions when taking this medication.
About the Side Effects
Azithromycin (Zithromax) side effects have been studied in clinical trials among thousands of people worldwide. Not everyone who takes Azithromycin suffers side effects. Most people tolerate the medication very well, and those that do suffer side effects; it is usually minor in nature. If you take Azithromycin and experience anything out of the ordinary, report it to your Doctor, even if it is something that does not appear on any list of side effects.
Common Side Effects
Most Azithromycin (Zithromax) side effects are gastronomical in nature and include vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea, headaches and unexplained rash. Other Azithromycin side effects include anaphylaxis, dermatologic reactions and nervousness. Pseudomembranous colitis can occur during treatment and up to several weeks after Azithromycin is taken.
Uncommon Side Effects
There are some side effects that can be an indication of something serious. Those side effects include blood in the stools, severe or watery diarrhea, yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes, difficulty breathing or swallowing, irregular heartbeat, abnormal swelling, hives, unexplained rash and peeling of the skin.
Rare Side Effects
There are other Azithromycin (Zithromax) side effects that can occur, but they have occurred in less than 1 percent of the group studied and they include kidney failure, heartburn or indigestion, vertigo, virginities, hepatitis, platelet reduction, low-blood pressure, dehydration, increased sun sensitivity. Because the side effects occur so seldom, it is not certain the medication cause these side effects or if they are a result of some other medical problem.
What to Avoid while taking Azithromycin
If you are taking Azithromycin, avoid taking antacids that contain magnesium or aluminum within 2 hours before or after taking Azithromycin. Those products include Milk of Magnesia, Mylanta, Maalox or Rolaids and Pepcid complete. These antacids interfere with the effectiveness of the Azithromycin, as they prevent the medication from being absorbed into the intestines.
Azithromycin makes the skin more sensitive to sun exposure, whether natural or from tanning beds, the skin can take on a higher level of mean if sunburn occurs. It is recommended to wear protective clothing and use SPF 30 or higher sun screen when in the great outdoors.
When prescribed Azithromycin, be sure to tell your Doctor what other medications you may be taking, whether they are prescribed or over the counter medications. It is important to avoid medications that clash and cause unwanted side effects, as well as, ineffective medication behavior.