Zithromax: General Information, Mechanism of Action, Side Effects


Infections Treatment


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  • Dosage (mg): 100/250/500/1000
  • Active Component: Azithromycin
  • Drug Class: Antibiotics

Zithromax (azithromycin) is a drug from the class of antibiotics that is used to treat skin, ear, airways, throat infections and STDs caused by the presence of bacteria in the body. Zithromax is taken for a therapy course of a length determined by the prescriber. Do not discontinue the course even if your symptoms disappear or your condition improves, avoiding the risk of the disease relapse.

Zithromax (Azithromycin) Uses and Mechanism of Action

Zithromax is an antibiotic that is commonly used to address infections caused by various bacteria. When it was first approved in 1992, it was supposed to be prescribed for patients suffering from particular respiratory infections, but since then healthcare providers have realized that Zithromax uses were not limited to just that. Over the years, doctors gradually started prescribing Zithromax for chlamydia, strep infections, and various sinus infections. It is now known to be capable of successfully treating not only respiratory tract infections but also skin and ear infections, as well as sexually transmitted diseases. Some patients have also reported using Zithromax for UTI treatment, but the results are rather mixed.

Based on an active component called azithromycin, Zithromax is a bacteriostatic antibiotic, which means that, unlike bactericidal antibiotics, it won’t kill the bacteria all by itself. What it does instead, is inhibit their growth and multiplication by blocking the production of chemicals required for that. When the bacteria are deprived of the possibility to spread further around the organism, they become easier to kill for the body’s immune system.

When a patient starts taking Zithromax, the antibiotic is gradually dissolving in their body and slowly building up its presence in their blood. Once there, Zithromax gets “picked up” by the white blood cells which fight against the bacteria and brought to the part of the body where it is needed to be stored and accumulated by the infected tissues. When Zithromax is finally confronted with the bacteria, its mechanism of action kicks in, allowing the antibiotic to suppress all bacterial activity and make the germs more vulnerable to the body’s immune system.

During clinical trials and further studies Zithromax has demonstrated an outstanding capability to destroy bacteria. Zithromax has a fairly low MIC (minimum inhibitory concentration), which means that its concentration in a patient’s blood required to kill a particular number of bacteria is smaller compared to other antibiotics with higher MIC. Also, Zithromax has proven to be a highly effective antibiotic (the success rate when used to treat gonorrhea is above 90%).

Before You Start Taking Zithromax

You can buy Zithromax over the counter in most online pharmacies, but it is still advisable that you consult your medical practitioner before you start using this antibiotic. Be sure to inform your doctor about your complete medical history, especially if you have ever suffered from the following conditions:

  • Jaundice
  • Any liver disease
  • Any kidney problems
  • Long QT syndrome (a rare heart condition)
  • Heart rhythm disorder
  • Myasthenia gravis (rare neuromuscular disorder)

Also, if you have any known allergic reactions, make a list of them and present it to your healthcare provider. If you have clarithromycin, erythromycin or telithromycin allergies, you’re highly likely to be allergic to Zithromax as well. It is also essential that you tell your doctor if you have already taken Zithromax in the past, especially if it caused any health-related problems, such as liver disorders.

As of now, no Zithromax pregnancy complications have been reported yet, so it is assumed  to be safe for pregnant women and their unborn babies, but nevertheless you should inform your healthcare provider if you know or suspect that you are pregnant and intend to use Zithromax. Breastfeeding mothers should take Zithromax with caution because currently there is no data available as to whether azithromycin is capable of passing into breast milk and harming the baby. Babies who are under 6 months old should not be given Zithromax.

Side Effects

Like any other medication, Zithromax also has adverse effects. During clinical trials, only 12% of patients experienced any side effects of Zithromax, which is a fairly low rate. The serious side effects were only developed by less than 1% of all clinical trials participants, and they are as following:

  • Exhaustion and fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Inflammation
  • Allergic reaction
  • Dizziness and/or vertigo
  • Severe headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Jaundice

These adverse effects are rather rare, but if you happen to experience any of them, contact your healthcare provider immediately because you might need to stop taking Zithromax or even get medical help.

The most common side effects of Zithromax include:

  • Mild to moderate headaches
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain and diarrhea

These side effects usually aren’t dangerous and should go away within 24 hours.

There is also a third group of Zithromax adverse effects. These complications are very rare, but they could also be life-threatening or do serious damage to your overall health if left unattended. Seek emergency medical help immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms after taking Zithromax:

  • Prolonged watery or bloody diarrhea accompanied by severe stomach pains
  • Severe headache with chest pains, dizziness, nausea, fainting, and irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Severe skin reactions with the following symptoms: skin itching and/or pain, pain in the eyes, fever, swollen face or tongue, sore throat, skin rashes that are purple or red in color and cause the skin to itch, blister, peel off and hurt
  • Any signs of liver malfunction, such as dark urine, exhaustion, appetite loss, pale-colored stools, nausea, severe jaundice, upper stomach pain

Recently, some medical practitioners have started voicing increasing concerns about one of the side effects of Zithromax – its ability to affect the heartbeat. Studies conducted in 2012 and 2013 have shown that Zithromax is capable of causing potentially fatal heart rhythm disorders in people who are already prone to cardiovascular problems due to age and/or various medical conditions. This is especially true for people who suffer from diabetes, have a history of heart attacks or are at risk of heart failure. Researchers also found that Zithromax didn’t cause any fatal incidents in young and middle-aged people who didn’t have any cardiovascular problems. Thus, Zithromax is only potentially dangerous for senior patients and people who have heart disorders.

Taking Zithromax: Dosage and Instructions

If you have a prescription for Zithromax, you need to take the medication exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider. Do not change Zithromax dosage of your own accord, and do not stop taking the drug even if you see that the symptoms of your infection have disappeared. If you see no improvement despite the Zithromax treatment, inform your medical practitioner about that, but do not stop taking the medication.

If you go to your local pharmacy, you will likely find Zithromax for sale in two forms: liquid and pills. The pills are oval, white-coated and come in bottles that contain 30 Zithromax tablets each. You can buy Zithromax pills in two dosages: Zithromax 500 mg and Zithromax 250 mg. Zithromax for oral suspension comes in single-dose packets, and you can buy them in boxes that contain either 10 or 3 packets. Your doctor may prescribe Zithromax for pneumonia or for a sinus infection in one of these forms.

You might be more familiar with this medication in the form of the Zithromax Z-Pak. The Z-Pak is a convenient 5-day pack that is often prescribed by doctors to treat common respiratory infections but can also be used for other purposes. It contains 5 dosages designed to be taken once a day. The first dose is a double one, while all the following dosages are regular. This pattern is highly effective because the initial double dosage allows the Zithromax concentration in infected tissues to rise quickly and efficiently. In addition, with such a simple and unobtrusive schedule the patients are less likely to miss a dose or use the medication incorrectly. Zithromax for sinus infection or bronchitis is commonly prescribed in the form of the Z-Pak.

Sometimes Zithromax is also prescribed to be taken in a single big dosage. When used that way, Zithromax treats ear infections and some STI quite successfully.

Zithromax should be taken with a glass of liquid, preferably water. It does not matter whether you take Zithromax before, during or after a meal. It is advisable not to combine Zithromax and alcohol because their interaction might increase the risk of developing such side effects as headaches, vomiting, and dizziness. Store Zithromax in a dry place at room temperature. Avoid storing it in places with high moisture and/or heat (such as a bathroom cabinet). Also, make sure it is out of reach for children and pets. Do not share Zithromax with other people even if they have the same symptoms as you do. If you have some medicine left after your treatment is over, you have to dispose of it in a proper way. Ask your doctor or pharmacist how to do that if you are not sure about it.

Zithromax antibiotic will work better if you take it at the same time of the day during the whole treatment. If you happen to miss a dose, take the medication as soon as you can. If it is almost time to take the next dose, skip the missed one and take it later, the day after your treatment should have been over. Do not take a double dose because it is likely to increase the risk of developing side effects, possibly even the more serious ones. If you overdose, seek professional medical help immediately because it could be dangerous for your health.

Warnings and Interactions

Just like many other antibiotics, Zithromax is often prescribed for no good reason, particularly when a patient is suffering from a viral infection, not a bacterial one. The outcome of such “treatments” is not only the absolute lack of effect but also the development of resistance to antibiotics. Even if only a small part of the germs survives in a human organism, it is likely to develop an “immunity” to the antibiotic, and when there are enough bacteria to cause an outbreak, they won’t be affected by the antibiotic in question anymore.

If a particular type of bacteria becomes resistant to multiple antibiotics, it can cause some serious health problems because patients do not respond to treatment with those antibiotics and the infection progresses freely. Thus, do not take Zithromax unless prescribed by your doctor. Also, do not interrupt or stop the treatment prematurely because if you do, some germs are highly likely to survive and become resistant to Zithromax. Finally, do not ask your doctor to prescribe you antibiotics even if he/she says that you don’t need them. Viral infections can’t be treated with antibiotics, so taking them won’t make you feel better sooner.

Zithromax may cause patients to feel dizzy and nauseous during the day, so it is advisable that you refrain from driving or operating other machinery until you are completely sure that your reactions and perception of the outer world are not impacted by Zithromax. It is also known to increase a patient’s skin sensitivity to sunlight, so it is easier for someone on Zithromax to get sunburned. Thus, use sunscreen or cover your body with clothes to protect it from the sun if you have to spend a lot of time exposed to the sunlight during your Zithromax treatment.

Similarly to many other antibiotics, Zithromax might cause your stomach to become upset, and you might develop mild diarrhea. If you develop such symptoms, try taking Zithromax with food to reduce the stomach irritation. If diarrhea persists for multiple days or becomes increasingly worse, contact your healthcare provider because it might be dangerous for you. The same is true for any signs of liver malfunction (jaundice, dark urine, exhaustion, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting).

If your Zithromax dosing was incorrect or if you have previously taken Zithromax, you might develop a second outbreak of infection. If you do, contact your healthcare provider about this, because you most likely need another antibiotic to clear the infection from your body completely.

It is not advisable to use Zithromax in children because it is still unclear whether it may or may not do harm to a developing organism. Also, it should be administered with caution in senior patients because they are more susceptible to the drug’s side effects, particularly ones related to the cardiovascular system.

Zithromax is capable of interacting with various other drugs, which could result in the reduction of the antibiotic’s effectiveness or even dangerous consequences for your health. The combination of Zithromax with blood thinning medications is particularly potentially harmful, so be sure to tell your doctor if you take any blood thinners.

Why Choose Generic Zithromax at Smart Canadian Pharmacy?

Azithromycin is not only the main active component in Zithromax but also the Zithromax generic name. For years, azithromycin was only available as a branded drug called Zithromax because the developer’s patent prevented third-party manufacturers from producing generic versions of Zithromax. Everything changed when the original patent expired, and the market was hit by dozens of Zithromax generics. What is the reason behind their popularity and why you might want to ask your doctor to give you a prescription for generic Zithromax?

The answer to these questions is simple: generic Zithromax at Canadian Pharmacy is significantly cheaper than its branded analog. This does not mean that it is less effective or has an overall lower quality, however. Azithromycin is just as safe and effective as Zithromax, but due to a different life cycle, it can be priced differently. The Zithromax price is based on the sum of a significant number of expenses that the developer bore during various production stages:

  • Drug formula development costs
  • Drug testing and drug formula improvement costs
  • Drug manufacturing costs
  • Drug marketing costs
  • Drug distribution costs

What is more, when you buy Zithromax, you are also funding further research of the drug developer, whether it is developing and testing a new product or conducting further studies of Zithromax. It is easy to see that the Zithromax cost includes some variables which do not have an influence on the drug’s quality (marketing and new research financing). Generic manufacturers cut down on their products’ cost by only doing two production steps out of the whole production cycle described above, namely manufacturing and distributing the medications. They do not need to do any research because all of it has previously been done by the original manufacturer, so they do not charge the consumers for it. Thus, it is possible for generic drug manufacturers to supply the market with high-quality yet affordable medications.

In addition, it is really easy to buy generic Zithromax online, which saves you the time and effort to go or drive to your local pharmacy. For instance, if you buy Zithromax for bronchitis, you are unlikely to be in a great shape to just go out and get your medications. With online pharmacies, you can simply place an order from your computer and have it delivered to your home shortly afterward. Also, when you buy Zithromax online, you have a good chance of stumbling upon a special discount, coupon code or medication pack which is going to save you some money. Some sellers even give you free bonus pills with your order or give you personalized discounts if you buy a lot of medications at once.

Smart Canadian Pharmacy. The Best Generic Zithromax Offers with great Discounts.