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Azithromycin ophthalmic

Generic Name: azithromycin ophthalmic (a ZITH roe MYE sin off THAL mik)
Brand Name: AzaSite

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Sep 27, 2019 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is azithromycin ophthalmic?

Azithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic that fights bacteria.

Azithromycin ophthalmic (for the eyes) is used to treat eye infections caused by bacteria.

Azithromycin ophthalmic may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

Stop using azithromycin ophthalmic and get emergency medical help if you have signs of a severe skin reaction: fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to azithromycin (Zithromax).

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

This medicine should not be used in a child younger than 1 year old.

How should I use azithromycin ophthalmic?

Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.

Azithromycin ophthalmic is usually applied twice daily for 2 days, and then once daily for 5 more days. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

Do not use while wearing soft contact lenses. A preservative in azithromycin ophthalmic could permanently stain the lenses. Use the medicine at least 15 minutes before inserting your contact lenses.

Wash your hands before using eye medication.

Turn the bottle upside down and shake it once just before each use.

To apply the eye drops: Tilt your head back slightly and pull down your lower eyelid to create a small pocket. Hold the dropper above the eye and squeeze a drop into this pocket. Close your eyes for 1 or 2 minutes.

Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed.

  • Use only the number of drops your doctor has prescribed. If you use more than one drop, wait about 5 minutes between drops.

  • Wait at least 10 minutes before using any other eye drops your doctor has prescribed.

Do not touch the tip of the eye dropper or place it directly on your eye. A contaminated dropper can infect your eye, which could lead to serious vision problems.

Do not use the eye drops if the liquid has changed colors or has particles in it. Call your pharmacist for new medicine.

Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve. Skipping doses can increase your risk of infection that is resistant to medication.

Store an unopened bottle of azithromycin ophthalmic in the refrigerator. Do not freeze.

After opening the bottle, store at room temperature for up to 14 days. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Use the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not use two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking azithromycin ophthalmic?

You should not wear contact lenses while you still have active symptoms of the eye infection you are treating (eye redness, irritation, or drainage).

Azithromycin ophthalmic side effects

Stop using azithromycin ophthalmic and get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • drainage or crusting of your eye;

  • severe burning, stinging, itching, or other irritation after using the eye drops;

  • feeling like something is in your eye;

  • changes to the surface of your eye;

  • eye pain or swelling;

  • eyelid irritation; or

  • any signs of a new infection.

Common side effects may include:

  • eye irritation;

  • dry or itchy eyes;

  • blurred vision;

  • stuffy nose; or

  • changes in your sense of taste.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Azithromycin ophthalmic dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Bacterial Conjunctivitis:

Days 1 and 2: Instill 1 drop in the affected eye(s) twice a day, 8 to 12 hours apart.
Days 3 through 7: Instill 1 drop in the affected eye(s) once a day.

Use: For the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis due to susceptible isolates of CDC coryneform group G, Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus mitis group, S pneumoniae

Usual Pediatric Dose for Bacterial Conjunctivitis:

1 year or older:
-Days 1 and 2: Instill 1 drop in the affected eye(s) twice a day, 8 to 12 hours apart.
-Days 3 through 7: Instill 1 drop in the affected eye(s) once a day.

Use: For the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis due to susceptible isolates of CDC coryneform group G, H influenzae, S aureus, S mitis group, S pneumoniae

What other drugs will affect azithromycin ophthalmic?

Medicine used in the eyes is not likely to be affected by other drugs you use. But many drugs can interact with each other. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all medicines you use, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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