Generic Name: azithromycin (ay-ZITH-roe-MYE-sin)
Brand Name: Zmax
Azithromycin suspension is used for:
Treating mild to moderate infections caused by certain bacteria. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Azithromycin suspension is a macrolide antibiotic. It slows the growth of, or sometimes kills, sensitive bacteria by reducing the production of important proteins needed by the bacteria to survive.
Do NOT use azithromycin suspension if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in azithromycin suspension, to other macrolide antibiotics (eg, erythromycin), or to ketolide antibiotics (eg, telithromycin)
- you have a history of liver problems or yellowing of the skin or eyes caused by any doseform (eg, tablets, suspension, injection) of azithromycin suspension
- you have a certain type of irregular heartbeat (QT prolongation), low blood potassium or magnesium levels, or a very slow heartbeat
- you are taking amiodarone, cisapride, dofetilide, dronedarone, nilotinib, pimozide, procainamide, propafenone, quinidine, sotalol, or tetrabenazine
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using azithromycin suspension:
Some medical conditions may interact with azithromycin suspension. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have liver or kidney problems, a slow or irregular heartbeat, myasthenia gravis, or are on a low-salt (sodium) diet
- if you have a history of low blood potassium or magnesium levels
- if you are taking any medicine that may increase the risk of a certain type of irregular heartbeat (prolonged QT interval). Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines may increase the risk of this type of irregular heartbeat
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with azithromycin suspension. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Many other prescription and nonprescription medicines (eg, used for allergies, blood thinning, cancer, depression or other mental or mood problems, heartburn, infections, involuntary movements, irregular heartbeat or other heart problems, narcotic addiction, nausea and vomiting, pain, Tourette disorder), multivitamin products, and herbal or dietary supplements (eg, herbal teas, coenzyme Q10, garlic, ginseng, St. John's wort) may interact with azithromycin suspension. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are unsure if any of your medicines might interact with azithromycin suspension
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if azithromycin suspension may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use azithromycin suspension:
Use azithromycin suspension as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Azithromycin suspension comes as a powder that must be mixed with water before you take it. Your pharmacist will usually mix it for you. If you receive azithromycin suspension as a powder, check with your pharmacist for instructions on how to mix it. You should take azithromycin suspension within 12 hours after it is mixed with water.
- Take azithromycin suspension by mouth on an empty stomach at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating.
- Shake well before use.
- Contact your doctor if you vomit within 1 hour after you take azithromycin suspension. You may need additional medicine to treat your infection.
- If azithromycin suspension is for a child, measure the prescribed dose using a measuring device marked for medicine dosing. Ask your pharmacist for help if you are unsure of how to measure the dose. If any medicine remains after you give the dose, discard it appropriately, out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- To clear up your infection completely, take the entire dose of azithromycin suspension.
- Only one dose of azithromycin suspension is required. If you forget to take azithromycin suspension, take it as soon as you remember.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use azithromycin suspension.
Important safety information:
- Azithromycin suspension may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use azithromycin suspension with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Azithromycin suspension may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to azithromycin suspension. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
- Mild diarrhea is common with antibiotic use. However, a more serious form of diarrhea (pseudomembranous colitis) may rarely occur. This may develop while you use the antibiotic or within several months after you stop using it. Contact your doctor right away if stomach pain or cramps, severe diarrhea, or bloody or watery stools occur. Do not treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor.
- Long-term or repeated use of azithromycin suspension may cause a second infection. Tell your doctor if signs of a second infection occur. Your medicine may need to be changed to treat this.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take azithromycin suspension before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- If your symptoms do not get better within a few days or if they get worse, check with your doctor.
- Severe and sometimes fatal liver problems have been reported with the use of azithromycin suspension. Contact your doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes; dark urine; pale stools; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite; unusual itching). Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
- Be sure to use the entire dose of azithromycin suspension. If you do not, the medicine may not clear up your infection completely. The bacteria could also become less sensitive to this or other medicines. This could make the infection harder to treat in the future.
- Azithromycin suspension only works against bacteria; it does not treat viral infections (eg, the common cold).
- Use azithromycin suspension with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially irregular heartbeat.
- Azithromycin suspension should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 6 months old; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- Azithromycin suspension should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN if it is used to treat a bacterial sinus infection; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using azithromycin suspension while you are pregnant. It is not known if azithromycin suspension is found in breast milk. If you are or will be breast-feeding while you take azithromycin suspension, check with your doctor. Discuss any possible risks to your baby.
Possible side effects of azithromycin suspension:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Diarrhea or loose stools; headache; mild stomach pain; nausea; vomiting.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing or swallowing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, throat, or tongue; unusual hoarseness; wheezing); bloody or watery stools; changes in hearing or hearing loss; chest pain; dark, red, raised areas of the skin; eye or vision problems; fainting; irregular heartbeat; mouth sores; muscle weakness; pounding in the chest; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; ringing in the ears; seizure; severe dizziness; severe or persistent diarrhea; severe stomach cramps or pain; symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes; dark urine; pale stools; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite; unusual itching); trouble speaking or swallowing; unusual vaginal itching, odor, or discharge.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088). You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include diarrhea; nausea; upset stomach; vomiting.Proper storage of azithromycin suspension:
Store azithromycin suspension between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Do not refrigerate or freeze. Use azithromycin suspension within 12 hours of mixing. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep azithromycin suspension out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about azithromycin suspension, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Azithromycin suspension is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people. Do not use azithromycin suspension for other health conditions.
- If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take azithromycin suspension or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about azithromycin suspension. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to azithromycin suspension. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using azithromycin suspension.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.
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