Things to Know about Zithromax

Zithromax is a drug, the importance of which is difficult to overestimate. This preparation is not only on the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines, but it is also classified as critically important. The active ingredient of the preparation, azithromycin, was developed in 1980. Eight years later, it was officially allowed to be used in clinical practice.

The medication is available not only under the brand name Zithromax, but it can also be purchased in the generic version. This drug should only be used by prescription.

What Is Zithromax? How It Works?

Zithromax is an antibiotic. It belongs to the class of macrolides and is effective for fighting a wide range of bacterial infections. The preparation affects the bacteria by interfering with the protein synthesis within the pathogen’s cell. It inhibits the growth of the bacteria, thus easing the task for the immune system to get rid of the disease.

To ease the administration of the antibiotic, it is supplied in several medical forms, including ophthalmic solution, capsules, film-coated pills, oral suspension, and granules for oral solution. If applied in hospitalized patients, the intravenous injection solution may be applied.

After taking the medication by mouth, it reaches maximum concentrations in the body fluids within 2 – 3 hours. The duration of the effects of the preparation is approximately 22 – 24 hours if a single-dose treatment is applied. Zithromax accumulates in the body, thus strengthening its influence on the pathogenic cells. Administration of multiple doses of the medication increases its elimination half-life up to 68 hours.

What Conditions Zithromax Treats

The spectrum of bacterial infections that can be cured with the help of Zithromax medication is very wide. This drug can be prescribed to patients suffering from:

Bacterial Resistance to Zithromax

Intake of Azithromycin without a clear necessity and doctor’s recommendation is unacceptable. The reason is that some bacteria develop resistance to the effects of the medication, thus making it useless. The consequence of such reckless use of this antibiotic is the growing resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae and one of the strains of gonorrhea to azithromycin.

Very often, this preparation is applied as a part of complex therapy to reduce the risks of bacteria developing resistance to it.

How to Take Zithromax?

Unlike many other antibiotics that should be taken twice or even three times a day, Zithromax is intended for a once-daily intake. The tablet, or any other dosage form of the drug you use, can be taken either with or without a meal. Those who have gastrointestinal adverse effects caused by the preparation should better administer Zithromax with food. By doing this, one can reduce the manifestations of such unwanted reactions.

The doctors advise taking the medication at the same time daily. It will help not to miss the dose and sustain stable levels of the preparation in the organism.

Zithromax therapy may last from one to five days. It depends on the organ or system infected, the severity of the patients’ condition, and their response to the drug.

Zithromax Doses. How to Choose the Needed Dose?

Brand Zithromax capsules come in 250 mg and 500 mg dosage strengths. The Zithromax powder for oral solution is available in 100mg/5ml and in 200mg/5ml.

Except for the cases when Zithromax is used for a three-day therapy or as a single-dose treatment, a loading dose of the medication is prescribed. Usually, it is a 500 mg dose taken on day one, followed by the 250 mg maintenance dose for another four days of treatment.

If your doctor decides that three days of Zithromax intake are enough to clear out the infection, the dose will be 500 mg once daily. When it comes to a single-dose treatment, very high doses of the medication are applied. Depending on the disease, your healthcare provider may recommend taking either 1 g or 3 g of azithromycin.

It’s not rare that patients start feeling better sooner than their final dose of Zithromax comes. Very often, people give up the therapy thinking that they have already cured of the infection. However, such an improvement in the health condition is very deceptive. Therefore, it is likely that you’ll have to deal with a relapse of the disease soon after you give up taking Zithromax. To avoid it, fulfill all the recommendations of your healthcare provider, especially when it goes about the duration of the treatment.

The use of Zithromax in pediatric patients demands a different approach to choosing the needed dose of the drug. The daily dose is calculated, taking into account the weight of the child. Zithromax can be given to babies weighing at least 5 kg. The dose per kilogram of weight ranges from 5mg/kg a day to 30 mg/kg as a loading dose for acute otitis media. In pediatrics, the duration of treatment with this medication is either 3 or 5 days. A single-dose therapy is not applicable to this category of patients.

Precautions to the Therapy with Zithromax

The safety of Zithromax therapy largely depends on the presence or absence of comorbidities on the patient. Besides, the intake of certain medications can also play a role in the way your organism reacts to the antibiotic. It’s crucial to inform your doctor about all the health problems you suffer and all the medications you use before getting a prescription for the drug to prevent any unwanted reactions.

The health conditions that need alertness during Zithromax therapy are the following:

Pregnancy is not an obstacle for the intake of Zithromax. The preparation possesses no danger for the fetus. However, the administration of the antibiotic during breastfeeding may be dangerous. There’s no evidence of azithromycin passing into breast milk. Therefore, it’s up to your doctor to decide whether to stop breastfeeding the baby when on Zithromax or not.

Because of its antibacterial properties, Zithromax can reduce the efficiency of some live bacterial vaccines. Postpone the vaccination to make sure you get a maximum positive effect from it.

Speaking about the dangerous drug interactions, Zithromax should never be taken concomitantly with such medications:

Situations When Zithromax Is Contraindicated

Zithromax administration may be dangerous in patients who suffer or have suffered the following health issues:

The medication is not intended for use in babies younger than 6 months old.

Zithromax. Possible Unwanted Reactions

This antibiotic has a rather positive safety profile. Still, certain side effects may develop, especially in patients having any precautions to the drug. The commonly reported adverse reactions to Zithromax are:

Call your doctor if any of these symptoms occur. Severe adverse effects include muscle weakness, trouble swallowing, changes in the heart rhythm, problems with hearing or eyes, signs of liver dysfunction (pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes). Such reactions demand immediate medical attention. Call an emergency room or go to the nearest clinic right after noticing their first manifestations.

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