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Azithromycin - what is the chemical structure and mechanism of action?


Inactive 6 Jul 2009

Azithromycin Description

Azithromycin tablets contain the active ingredient Azithromycin, an azalide, a subclass of macrolide antibiotics, for oral administration. Azithromycin has the chemical name (2R,3S,4R,5R,8R,10R, 11R,12S,13S,14R) - 13 - [(2,6 - dideoxy - 3 - C - methyl - 3 - O - methyl - α - L - ribo - hexopyranosyl)oxy] - 2 - ethyl - 3,4,10 - trihydroxy - 3,5,6,8,10,12,14 - heptamethyl - 11 - [[3,4,6 - trideoxy - 3 - (dimethylamino) - β - D - xylo - hexopyranosyl]oxy] - 1 - oxa - 6 - azacyclopentadecan - 15 - one. Azithromycin is derived from erythromycin; however, it differs chemically from erythromycin in that a methyl-substituted nitrogen atom is incorporated into the lactone ring. Its molecular formula is C38H72N2O12, and its molecular weight is 749. Azithromycin has the following structural formula:

Azithromycin, as the monohydrate, is a white crystalline powder with a molecular formula of C38H72N2O12•H2O and a molecular weight of 767.02.

Mechanism of Action
Azithromycin acts by binding to the 50S ribosomal subunit of susceptible microorganisms and, thus, interfering with microbial protein synthesis. Nucleic acid synthesis is not affected.

Azithromycin concentrates in phagocytes and fibroblasts as demonstrated by in vitro incubation techniques. Using such methodology, the ratio of intracellular to extracellular concentration was >30 after one hour incubation. In vivo studies suggest that concentration in phagocytes may contribute to drug distribution to inflamed tissues.

Search Azithromycin in this site and click on professional information fda link for chemical stucture diagram.

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