Generic Zithromax (Azithromycin)
Zithromax is an antibacterial drug that is used to treat a wide variety of bacterial infections. It is a macrolide-type antibiotic, which means that it works by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. Zithromax is an effective treatment for a wide range of bacterial infections, and is particularly useful for infections that are difficult to treat with other antibiotics.
What is Zithromax?
Zithromax is a medication that is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It is a macrolide antibiotic, which means that it works by preventing bacteria from making proteins that are necessary for their growth. Zithromax is typically used to treat respiratory infections, skin infections, and ear infections. It can also be used to prevent certain types of bacterial infections in people who are at risk for developing them.
Azithromycin was discovered in 1980 by a group of researchers from Croatia. In 1981, the Croatian pharmaceutical company Pliva received a patent for azithromycin, which expired in 2005, which made it possible to produce generics — complete analogues of the original drug containing the same active substance and manufactured using identical technology.
One of the most popular generics of azithromycin is Zithromax, an oral drug containing 100, 250 or 500 mg of azithromycin, depending on the type of package.
Advantages of Zithromax
- The bacteriostatic effect of Zithromax is completely identical to the therapeutic effect of Azithromycin.
- All the disadvantages characteristic of the first generations of azithromycin-based drugs have been taken into account and eliminated.
- The cost of Zithromax is significantly lower than the price of Azithromycin, since the drug no longer needs to be imported from Croatia and overpay for a popular brand — regional pharmaceutical companies can produce it themselves.
Pharmacological properties and Uses of Zithromax
What is Zithromax Used For?
Zithromax is prescribed for treatment of clinically confirmed infections with the following types of pathogens:
- Staphylococcus aureus;
- hemolytic and pyogenic streptococcus;
- gonococcus, pneumococcus, peptostreptococcus;
- hemophilic bacillus, ducray's bacillus, pertussis bacillus;
- gardnerella vaginalis, moraxella catarrhalis;
- legionella, mycoplasma, ureaplasma, chlamydia.
How Zithromax Works
The mechanism of bacteriostatic action of azithromycin is based on its ability to suppress the biosynthesis of amino acids and proteins by bacteria of the listed species, which makes their further reproduction impossible and leads the pathogen to inevitable death.
A distinctive feature of azithromycin is its selectiveness. Laboratory studies have shown that the drug easily penetrates through cell membranes and accumulates mainly in the foci of infection localization, where azithromycin is delivered by phagocytes.
Long half-life (about 50 hours) of azithromycin, in cases of continual treatment, allows for quickly achieving the therapeutic concentration of azithromycin necessary for the death of the pathogen.
Commonly Zithromax is used to treat the following diseases:
- acute bacterial bronchitis or pneumonia;
- exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
- sinusitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis;
- otitis media;
- urethritis, cervicitis;
- chlamydia, gonorrhea;
- malaria, travelers' diarrhea;
- impetigo, erysipelas, chronic erythema migrans (Lyme disease);
- trachoma of chlamydial etiology.
How to Use Zithromax
Zithromax is taken 500 mg once a day, without chewing, an hour before or two hours after a meal. The recommended course of treatment is 3 days.
With urethritis or cervicitis, Zithromax is taken once in a dosage of 1 gram.
The regimen and daily dose of the drug can be changed by the attending physician based on the nature and severity of the disease.
Taking Zithromax in doses exceeding 500 mg per day can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Less often there is a temporary hearing loss.
As possible treatment for this condition, rinse the stomach and take activated charcoal at the rate of 1 tablet per 10 kg of weight.
- Severe forms of hepatic and/or renal insufficiency.
- Age younger than 12 years or body weight less than 45 kg.
- The period of breastfeeding (in women).
You should take the drug with caution in the following cases:
- cardiovascular diseases, especially arrhythmia;
- kidney and/or liver diseases;
- pregnancy (in case of emergency).
Zithromax Side Effects
With a probability of >1%, arrhythmia, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea or loose stools, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, convulsions, nervousness or aggressiveness, tinnitus, tachycardia, skin rash or itching, arthralgia, as well as temporary hearing, taste or smell disorders may occur.
Interaction with other drugs
It is strictly forbidden to take Zithromax simultaneously with Dihydroergotamine and Ergotamine due to the high combined toxic effect on the human body.
The combination of Zithromax with these drugs are also best avoided:
- Terfenadine, Digoxin: due to the increased risk of arrhythmia.
- Warfarin: due to the high probability of internal bleeding associated with the anticoagulant effect of warfarin.
- Antacids: Acid Gone, Aldroxicon, Genaton, Maalox, Pepcid Complete, Rolaids, Rulox, etc.
Antacid group drugs reduce the concentration of azithromycin in blood plasma by 30%, therefore, in the same period with Zithromax, they should be taken only within a time interval of at least two hours.
Special instructions and precautions
- It is not recommended to arbitrarily reduce the recommended daily dosage of Zithromax or reduce the duration of the course of treatment due to the high risk of adaptation (habituation) of pathogens to azithromycin.
- In the case of bloody or watery diarrhea, it is necessary to immediately consult with the attending physician regarding the admissibility and expediency of further treatment with Zithromax. It is strongly not recommended to ignore this symptom and take antidiarrheal medications.
- Taking Zithromax together with grapefruit juice increases the likelihood of side effects.
- Like every antibiotic Zithromax can cause superinfection, although with low probability.
Do Zithromax and alcohol go together?
No. All types of antibiotics, including Zithromax, are incompatible with alcohol.
Can one take Zithromax in pregnancy?
Only in situations where the expected benefit of the drug significantly exceeds the possible negative effect on the embryo. These risks should be assessed by a professional health care worker.
Can I use Zithromax for ear infection?
Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria, and they can be quite painful. Zithromax works by stopping the bacteria from growing, which helps to reduce the symptoms of the infection. If you think you may have an ear infection, it is important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. If your doctor does prescribe Zithromax for your ear infection, it is important to take the medication exactly as directed. Doing so will help to ensure that the infection is cleared up as quickly as possible.
What should I do if I missed taking Zithromax?
Immediately take the missed dose, and take the next dose only after 24 hours. It is not necessary to take a double dosage of the drug — this can lead to a deterioration of one's condition and an increase in the resistance of the pathogen to azithromycin.
Does Zithromax have an effect on oral contraceptives?
Unlike many other antibiotics, Zithromax does not reduce the effectiveness of oral contraceptives.