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Navin Khosla NowPatientGreen tick
Updated on 24 Apr 2024

azithromycin Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Warnings & Dosing

What dosages is azithromycin available in?

What dosages is azithromycin available in?

azithromycin is available as a 250 mg, 500 mg 600 mg, and 1 g oral tablet and a 100 mg/5 ml and 200 mg/5 ml oral suspension.

What is azithromycin used for?

What is azithromycin used for?

azithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic that is used to treat:

  • Adults
  • Sudden worsening of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from a bacterial infection
  • Sinus infections
  • Pneumonia
  • Strep throat
  • Tonsil infections
  • Skin infections
  • Urethra or cervix infections
  • Genital ulcer disease (chancroid)
  • Children
  • Ear infections (age 6 months and older)
  • Pneumonia (age 6 months and older)
  • Strep throat (age 2 years and older)
  • Tonsil infections (age 2 years and older)
How does azithromycin work?

How does azithromycin work?

azithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic. It works by stopping bacteria from making certain proteins inside their cells. As a result, the bacteria aren’t able to grow and spread. And sometimes, the bacteria also aren’t able to survive.

How do I take azithromycin?

How do I take azithromycin?

azithromycin is dosed as follows:


  • Pneumonia, COPD, strep throat, tonsil infections, and skin infections: The typical dose is 500 mg by mouth on Day 1, then 250 mg daily on Days 2 through 5.
  • Sinus infections and COPD: The typical dose is 500 mg by mouth once daily for 3 days
  • Chancroid, and infections of the urethra and cervix: The typical dose is 1 gram to 2 grams (depending on the infection) by mouth as a single dose


  • Your child’s provider will calculate their dose based on their body weight
  • Ear infection: The typical dose can range from (1) 30 mg/kg by mouth for a single dose; to (2) 10 mg/kg by mouth once daily for 3 days; to (3) 10 mg/kg by mouth on Day 1, then 5 mg/kg once daily on Days 2 through 5
  • Sinus infections: The typical dose is 10 mg/kg by mouth once daily for 3 days
  • Pneumonia: The typical dose is 10 mg/kg by mouth on Day 1, then 5 mg/kg once daily on Days 2 through 5.
    Strep throat and tonsillitis: The typical dose is 12 mg/kg by mouth once daily for 5 days
Is it safe for me to take azithromycin?

Is it safe for me to take azithromycin?

azithromycin is a safe and effective treatment when used for FDA licensed indications. However, like all medications, they may give you unwanted side effects. You should always discuss potential side effects with your physician to ensure the medication is suitable and right for you. You should not use this medication if you have any of the following:
Severe allergy to macrolide antibiotics Severe liver problems associated with previous use of azithromycin

azithromycin Common Side Effects

azithromycin Common Side Effects

Common side effects of azithromycin:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
azithromycin Serious Side Effects

azithromycin Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects are rare with azithromycin. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the following.

  • Serious allergic reaction: hives, rash, blisters, fever, swelling of the lips or tongue, difficulty breathing
  • Worsening liver problems or liver failure: swelling of your stomach, yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, confusion, dark or brown urine
  • Abnormal heart rhythm (QT prolongation): chest
  • pounding, trouble breathing, chest pain, feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Infectious (C. difficile-related) diarrhea: rapid heart rate, foul-smelling diarrhea, fever, nausea, frequent bowel movements (even up to 15 times per day)
Effects of other drugs, drug classes and over-the-counter products on azithromycin

Effects of other drugs, drug classes and over-the-counter products on azithromycin

The following medications may interact with azithromycin:

  • Nelfinavir: Close monitoring for known adverse reactions of azithromycin, such as liver enzyme abnormalities and hearing impairment, is warranted
  • Warfarin: Use with azithromycin may increase coagulation times; monitor prothrombin time
Who makes azithromycin?

Who makes azithromycin?

Various FDA-approved generic manufacturers

Is azithromycin safe in pregnancy?

Is azithromycin safe in pregnancy?

It is not known if azithromycin will harm your unborn baby. You and your doctor will have to decide if you should take azithromycin while you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant.


What to do if you missed your azithromycin dose

The FDA's medical product safety reporting program for health professionals, patients and consumers.

Learn more about reporting side effects
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Medical Disclaimer

NowPatient has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that all material is factually accurate, complete, and current. However, the knowledge and experience of a qualified healthcare professional should always be sought after instead of using the information on this page. Before taking any drug, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

The information provided here about medications is subject to change and is not meant to include all uses, precautions, warnings, directions, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or negative effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a particular medication does not imply that the medication or medication combination is appropriate for all patients or for all possible purposes.

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