Medically reviewed on September 5, 2018
Uses of Azithromycin Tablets:
- It is used to treat or prevent bacterial infections.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Azithromycin Tablets?
- If you have an allergy to azithromycin or any other part of this medicine (azithromycin tablets).
- If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
- If you have any of these health problems: Long QT on ECG, low magnesium levels, or low potassium levels.
- If you have a slow heartbeat, talk with your doctor.
- If you have turned yellow or had liver side effects with this medicine (azithromycin tablets) before.
- If you are taking any drugs that can cause a certain type of heartbeat that is not normal (prolonged QT interval). There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.
This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine (azithromycin tablets).
Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine (azithromycin tablets) with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take Azithromycin Tablets?
For all patients taking this medicine (azithromycin tablets):
- Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine (azithromycin tablets). This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
- Do not use longer than you have been told. A second infection may happen.
- If you are taking warfarin, talk with your doctor. You may need to have your blood work checked more closely while you are taking it with this medicine (azithromycin tablets).
- A very bad and sometimes deadly reaction has happened with this medicine (azithromycin tablets). Most of the time, this reaction has signs like fever, rash, or swollen glands with problems in body organs like the liver, kidney, blood, heart, muscles and joints, or lungs. Talk with the doctor.
- This medicine may cause a type of abnormal heartbeat (prolonged QT interval). If this happens, the chance of other unsafe and sometimes deadly abnormal heartbeats may be raised. Talk with the doctor.
- If you have myasthenia gravis, talk with your doctor. Call your doctor if your signs get worse. Signs of myasthenia gravis have also happened in people who do not have it. Call your doctor right away if you have new or worse muscle weakness, trouble chewing or swallowing, trouble breathing, droopy eyelids, or change in eyesight like blurred eyesight or seeing double.
- If you are 65 or older, use this medicine (azithromycin tablets) with care. You could have more side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this medicine (azithromycin tablets) while you are pregnant.
- Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.
- A very bad stomach problem has happened in newborns taking this medicine (azithromycin tablets). Call the doctor right away if your child throws up or gets irritable with feeding.
How is this medicine (Azithromycin Tablets) best taken?
Use this medicine (azithromycin tablets) as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
- Do not take antacids within 2 hours before or 2 hours after taking this medicine (azithromycin tablets).
- To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
- Keep taking this medicine (azithromycin tablets) as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
- A fast heartbeat.
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal.
- Change in hearing.
- Hearing loss.
- Chest pain or pressure.
- Ringing in ears.
- Very bad dizziness or passing out.
- Trouble swallowing or speaking.
- Swollen gland.
- Vaginal itching or discharge.
- It is common to have diarrhea when taking this medicine (azithromycin tablets). Rarely, a very bad form of diarrhea called Clostridium difficile (C diff)–associated diarrhea (CDAD) may occur. Sometimes, this has led to a deadly bowel problem (colitis). CDAD may happen while you are taking this medicine (azithromycin tablets) or within a few months after you stop taking it. Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat loose stools without first checking with your doctor.
- Very bad and sometimes deadly liver problems have happened with this medicine (azithromycin tablets). Call your doctor right away if you have signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
- A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
What are some other side effects of Azithromycin Tablets?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away:
- Belly pain.
- Loose stools (diarrhea).
- Upset stomach or throwing up.
- Not hungry.
These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
How do I store and/or throw out Azithromycin Tablets?
- Store at room temperature.
- Store in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom.
- Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
- Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
Consumer information use
- If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
- Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
- Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
- Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
- Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine (azithromycin tablets), please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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