Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Infection

Zithromax 

(azithromycin)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Infection
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Kills bacteria.

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Our bottom line

Zithromax (Azithromycin) is good for treating many bacterial infections. It is also available as generic. Talk to your doctor if you've ever had liver disease, myasthenia gravis, or on medications to thin the blood, as the doctor may write an alternative.

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Upsides

  • Available in generic.
  • Available in different forms: tablet, capsule, and suspension.
  • Used to treat many types of bacterial infections.
  • Less resistance seen in bacteria to this antibiotic. Your doctor may run tests to see which antibiotics will kill the bacteria causing your infection.
  • Can be taken with or without food.
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Downsides

  • Must space out antacids by at least 2 hours.
  • Has to be used with caution in people who've had liver disease.
  • Can't be used in people who've had myasthenia gravis.
  • Must be used with caution in people who are on medications to thin the blood (anticoagulants) because of increased risk of bleeding.
  • Can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
How it works

Zithromax (Azithromycin) is an antibiotic. It kills bacteria by preventing them from reproducing and repairing themselves.

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Side effect rates for Zithromax (azithromycin)

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain

Risks and Warnings for Zithromax (azithromycin)

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  • As with all antibiotics, Zithromax (Azithromycin) can cause diarrhea. If this happens while you're taking the medication, taking probiotics in the form of yogurt, supplements or drinks a few hours after you take the medication may help. If you develop an unusual diarrhea with loose or bloody stools weeks after you finish the medication, talk to your doctor as this can be a rare but serious side effect.

Common concerns from people taking Zithromax (azithromycin)

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Pregnancy
Food
  • Can be taken with or without food.
  • Can take with or without food.
  • As with any antibiotic, be sure to supplement with probiotic foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut to replace intestinal flora.
Kidneys and liver
  • There have been reports of liver damage that can require hospitalization or can cause death. These have been rare. Talk to your doctor if you notice pain in your abdomen, loss of appetite, yellowing of your skin or eyes, or dark colored urine.
Pain
  • Can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.