Azithromycin

  • Single dose course
  • 95% effective at treating Chlamydia
  • Treatment for Men and Women

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Disclaimer: The prices displayed should only be used as a reference of our prices for this medicine. If you are approved for treatment, our prescribers will decide on a suitable treatment for you to jointly consider.

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Azithromycin for the treatment of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted infection in the UK that shows relatively few symptoms. If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to a number of complications such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and even Infertility. Fortunately, Chlamydia is easy to treat with antibiotics such as Doxycycline and Azithromycin.

Although Azithromycin is no longer the first line treatment for chlamydia, it can still be used in cases to treat the infection such as when Doxycyline has been ineffective or cannot be taken.

Azithromycin will typically clear chlamydia within 7 days, it can be bought online from Medicine Direct and delivered to you next day.

What is Azithromycin?

Azithromycin is an antibiotic that is prescribed to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It can be taken by adults and children for different conditions.

It is one of the most commonly prescribed medicines for the treatment of chlamydia. However, Azithromycin can also be prescribed for the likes of chest infections and Lyme disease.

You need a prescription to buy Azithromycin.

What is Azithromycin used to treat?

Azithromycin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, meaning it can be prescribed to treat a number of different conditions caused by bacteria.

This medication is a common treatment for the sexually transmitted infection (STI) chlamydia.

Other conditions Azithromycin can be used to treat include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Sinus infections
  • Skin infections
  • Chest infections like pneumonia
  • Nose and throat infections

Azithromycin can be prescribed for children to treat infections of the ear or chest.

How does Azithromycin treat chlamydia?

Azithromycin belongs to a group of medicines called macrolide antibiotics.

This type of antibiotic works to treat infections by stopping the bacteria that causes them from reproducing. This means that the bacteria cannot spread, so your immune system is able to fight the infection effectively.

Azithromycin dose for chlamydia

The normal dose for Azithromycin to treat chlamydia is two or four 500mg tablets as a single dose.

Please see the patient information leaflet for complete details on dosage before you start to take Azithromycin.

Always take Azithromycin in the dose prescribed by your doctor.

How to take Azithromycin

Take Azithromycin as soon as possible after testing positive for chlamydia.

Swallow Azithromycin tablets whole with a drink of water. Do not crush or chew the tablets.

You should take a chlamydia test two weeks after your treatment is over. This will make sure that your infection has cleared. Do not have sexual intercourse until you know that the infection is gone.

Consult the patient information leaflet for full instructions before you start to take this medication. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are still unsure of how to take it.

Possible side effects

Like all medication, Azithromycin tablets come with the risk of certain side effects, although not everyone will suffer from them.

The common side effects of Azithromycin affect more than 1 in every 100 people who take it and include:

  • Headaches
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling sick
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes to your sense of taste

Seek medical attention if any of these reactions bother you or do not go away.

Please note, this list is not exhaustive. Please refer to the Side Effects tab on this page for rarer and more serious reactions you may suffer

Refer to the patient information leaflet for comprehensive details on why this medicine may not be suitable for you.

Who can take Azithromycin?

Azithromycin is safe for both adults and children, but it is not suitable for everyone to take.

Speak to your doctor before taking this medication if:

  • You have any liver or kidney problems
  • You have had diarrhoea while taking other antibiotics in the past
  • You have heart problems, including an irregular heartbeat
  • You have had an allergic reaction to Azithromycin or any other medication in the past
  • You have diabetes
  • You have myasthenia gravis (Azithromycin can make this illness's symptoms worse)
  • You have low blood levels of potassium or magnesium

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be prescribed a different medication. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or are breastfeeding.

This list is not exhaustive. The patient information leaflet will provide a full list of reasons why Azithromycin may not be suitable for you.

Can you buy Azithromycin over the counter?

No, Azithromycin is only available to purchase on prescription, so cannot be bought over the counter.

Can you buy Azithromycin online in the UK?

Yes, you can buy Azithromycin online in the UK from Medicine Direct. This medicine is prescription-only, so before your order is approved, you will first need to complete a confidential online consultation. Your answers will be reviewed by one of our doctors, pharmacists or prescribers, who will assess your condition to make sure that Azithromycin is a suitable treatment.

Order by 2pm and we can offer you next day delivery on your medicine.

For your safety, you should not order any type of medicine online unless it is from a regulated pharmacy, like Medicine Direct. Full details of the medical authorities that regulate our pharmacy can be seen on the About Us page.

Azithromycin alternatives

Doxycycline is the most common alternative to Azithromycin when it comes to chlamydia treatment. It is the primary treatment for this infection.

Doxycycline is a one-week course of treatment for chlamydia and is also a prescription-only medicine (POM).

Dosage

Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE guidelines when prescribing Azithromycin.

Always take Azithromycin tablets exactly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start taking Azithromycin. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist for further guidance if you are unsure of how to take the tablets.

How to take this medication

Azithromycin tablets or liquid can be taken with or without food.

If you are prescribed capsules, they should be taken at least 1 hour before eating, or 2 hours after eating.

Tablets and capsules should be swallowed whole with a drink of water. Do not crush, chew or open them.

For children and people who have difficulty swallowing, this medicine is also available as a liquid.

What if I forget to take it?

If you forget to take this medication, take it as soon as you remember.

If it is nearly time for your next scheduled dose, skip the dose you forgot to take and continue to take the tablets as usual.

Never take two doses at the same time to try and make up for missing a previous one.

To get into a routine of taking Azithromycin, try to take it at the same time every day. Some people find it useful to set an alarm as a reminder.

What if I take more than I am supposed to?

Accidentally taking an extra dose of this medicine is unlikely to do you any harm. However, it may increase your chances of temporary undesired effects like vomiting or diarrhoea.

Speak medical attention if you become worried or take more than one extra dose of Azithromycin.

How long does Azithromycin take to treat Chlamydia?


Most infections will be cleared up within a few days of treatment. For the most effective treatment with Azithromycin, it is vital that you take it exactly as your doctor has told you. Do not stop your course of treatment before your doctor tells you.

Can azithromycin treat any other STI’s?


Azithromycin can be used for chlamydia and is also prescribed as a dual therapy treatment for gonorrhoea. When used as a gonorrhoea treatment, it is normally prescribed with Cefixime, which is another antibiotic.

Is it okay to drink alcohol while taking Azithromycin?


Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol will not interact with Azithromycin.

Can I have sex during my treatment?


If you are treating a sexually transmitted infection with Azithromycin, you should not have sex until you know that your infection has cleared. You should do another test after two weeks to make sure that your infection has gone.

Which antibiotic is the best for treating chlamydia?


Doxycycline is the first line treatment option for Chlamydia. Azithromycin will typically only be prescribed if Doxycycline is ineffective or cannot be taken.

How will I know when my chlamydia has been treated?


You should start to notice your symptoms going away within a few days of treatment ending. However, to make certain that Azithromycin has effectively treated your chlamydia, you should take another test after treatment.

What will happen if I don’t get chlamydia treated?


Left untreated, chlamydia can spread to other parts of the body. This can cause complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease in women. This can lead to infertility, tubal pregnancies, and chronic pelvic pain. In some cases, chlamydia can cause reactive arthritis.

Will Azithromycin affect my fertility?


No evidence exists to firmly suggest that this medicine will reduce male or female fertility. However, if you are trying to get pregnant, you should tell your doctor or pharmacist before you take Azithromycin.

Can I catch chlamydia again?


Yes, you can catch chlamydia again if you come into contact with it through your sexual partner. Azithromycin does not offer any immunity to every catching chlamydia again.

When can I have sex again?


After your treatment you should take another chlamydia test to ensure the treatment has worked. You should only have sex when you have tested negative for chlamydia.

Does Azithromycin treat Chlamydia in both men and women?


Azithromycin can be used by both men and women to treat chlamydia.

Does azithromycin cure chlamydia?


Whilst azithromycin can clear a chlamydia infection it will not cure or prevent you from every catching the infection again.

Can chlamydia be resistant to azithromycin?


There is a growing concern that Azithromycin is facing more resistance form Chlamydia when trying to treat it. It is believed that Doxycycline is more effective at treating chlamydia and some of its complications which is why is it now the first line treatment option.

Side Effects

You should speak to your doctor immediately if you suffer any of the following:

  • Severe stomach or back pain
  • Yellowing of the skin, the whites of your eyes turn yellow, pale stools or dark urine
  • Chest pains or a fast/irregular heartbeat
  • Ringing of the ears, temporary hearing loss, or vertigo
  • Diarrhoea that contains blood or mucus (even if you have diarrhoea without blood or mucus for more than 4 days, you should seek medical attention)

In rare cases, you may suffer a serious allergic reaction to Azithromycin and require immediate treatment in hospital.

Call 999 or go to A&E immediately if:

  • You have tightness in your chest or throat
  • You have a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
  • You are wheezing
  • You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak
  • You have swelling in the face, mouth, tongue, throat or lips

This list may not be exhaustive. Always read the patient information leaflet for a comprehensive list of side effects.

Warnings and drug interactions

Azithromycin can interact with other medications. It is important you tell your docotr or pharmacist if you are taking any presription or non prescription medicines. Tell your doctor if you are taking any vitamins or supplements.

Tell your doctor before taking this medicine if you are already taking:

  • Rifabutin
  • Colchincine
  • Antacids
  • Ergotamine or dihydroergotamine
  • Warfarin
  • Ciclosporin or tacrolimus
  • Nelfinavir
  • Digoxin
  • Any statin medicines to lower cholesterol

Tell your doctor if you are taking any medication for an irregular heartbeat.

Azithromycin can affect your heartbeat in some cases, so you should avoid taking any other medicines that have the same side effect. Inform your doctor if you are taking any other medicines that may affect your heartbeat, including:

  • Certain antibiotics, such as moxifloxacin
  • Antidepressants, such as citalopram
  • Certain anti-sickness medicines like domperidone
  • Antipsychotics to treat severe mental health problems

Please note, this information may not be exhaustive. You should always read the patient information leaflet before taking a new medication.

It is important to follow your doctors dose instructions. Even if your symptoms subside, you must complete your full course. Not completing your course may result in the infection still being present. Chlamydia can cause complications when not treated.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

This medicine is not normally recommended for women who are breastfeeding or pregnant, unless your doctor specifically advises you to take it.

Before taking Azithromycin, tell your doctor if you are currently pregnant, trying to get pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

We recommend BUMPS for additional information on taking azithromycin during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Please note, these lists may not be exhaustive. Please refer to the patient information leaflet for comprehensive details on why this medicine may not be suitable for you.

 

Ingredients

The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Azithromycin dehydrate

For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics

Delivery Company Delivery Service Price Details
Royal Mail UK Delivery Standard UK Tracked £2.99 3 - 4 Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Delivery - Tracked £5.95 Order by 2pm (subject to Dr approval) Next Working Day Delivery
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Next Day Tracked Morning Delivery by 12:00pm £12.95 Next Working Day Morning Delivery by 12:00pm
DPD UK Next Day Delivery Tracked Saturday Delivery £9.95

Delivery specified for Saturday

Order Friday by 2pm (subject to Dr approval)

Please note that next day delivery to Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands & Islands and British Isles cannot be guaranteed. Please contact our team for more information.

Written bySonia Khan MPharm: 2076091

Updated on: 31/08/2021

This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan

Hussain Abdeh Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct

Hussain Abdeh
MPharm: 2211840

Pharmacist Independent Prescriber

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