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What is Azithromycin?
Azithromycin is an antibiotic that is prescribed to treat a variety of bacterial infections. It is a prescription-only medicine that is used by adults and children for different conditions. It is available in packets of 4 tablets.
You can buy Azithromycin online at Medicine Direct following an online consultation with one of our certified doctors. They will assess your symptoms and medical history and prescribe Azithromycin if they deem it the most appropriate treatment for you to take. You can then buy it from our registered pharmacy, and if you order by 2pm you will receive your order the very next day.
What is Azithromycin used to treat?
This medication is a common treatment for the sexually transmitted infection, chlamydia.
Azithromycin is a macrolide-type antibiotic, which works by stopping the production of protein in bacteria, which stops it from growing and replicating. By doing this, the bacterial infection cannot spread and you immune system is able to kill off what remains in your body.
A broad-spectrum antibiotic, Azithromycin is able to fight a large range of different bacterial infections. It comes in packets of 4 tablets.
Aside for being an effective chlamydia antibiotic, it can also be used in the treatment of skin, soft tissue, ear and airways infections.
How Azithromycin treats chlamydia
As a treatment for chlamydia, Azithromycin tablets is one of the most common forms of antibiotic, alongside Doxycycline. Both of these medicines fight chlamydia in the same way; they prevent the bacteria from reproducing.
A course of Azithromycin antibiotics will provide effective chlamydia treatment in 95% of cases, if the tablets are taken as instructed by a doctor. It is very important you read the patient information leaflet thoroughly and follow your doctor or pharmacist's instructions carefully.
The dose of Azithromycin tablets when used as chlamydia antibiotics is two 500mg tablets, to be taken at the same time for one day. After that, the dose is one tablet once a day for two days.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be prescribed a different medication.
When will a doctor prescribe Azithromycin for you?
A doctor will prescribe Azithromycin tablets for you after an examination of your symptoms for the likes of ear and skin infections.
As an antibiotic for chlamydia, they will prescribe it if you have been found to have the infection.
If you fear you might have chlamydia, you should get a home chlamydia test kit as soon as you can. You can take the test at any time, but if you have had unprotected sex within two weeks before getting tested, you might want to get tested a second time later on. Most chlamydia tests will either be a urine test or swab.
Nine out of 10 chlamydia tests are accurate, and most sexual health clinics and GPs offer free testing. Tests can also be bought online for home testing.
If there is a high risk that you have chlamydia, such as having unprotected sex with a partner who is known to have the infection, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics for chlamydia before the tests come back.
Who is Azithromycin suitable for?
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 liver or kidney problems
- You have had diarrhoea when 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
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.
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.
Please refer to the Warnings and Drug Interactions tab for further information.
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:
- 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.
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.
You will normally be instructed to take Azithromycin tablets once a day.
Take two 500mg tablets as a single dose on the first day, then a single dose of one 500mg tablet once a day, for two days.
You should start taking Azithromycin as soon as possible after you have tested positive for chlamydia. After you have finished your course of chlamydia treatment, you should not have sex for seven days.
To ensure your treatment was successful, you should take a second test 14 days later.
If you have kidney problems your dose may be lower than the one stated above.
To treat infections in children, the dose may also be lower.
Azithromycin tablets is sometimes prescribed as a long-term prevention against chest infections for people who are prone to them. If you are prescribed Azithromycin for this reason, you will normally be instructed to take it 3 times a week, such as Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
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.
What is Azithromycin?
What else is Azithromycin known as?
How effective is Azithromycin at treating chlamydia?
How do I know if I have chlamydia?
What will my healthcare provider need to know before prescribing this medicine to me?
How to take azithromycin tablets & suspension
How do I know if the Azithromycin is working?
Can I still have sex while I am taking Azithromycin?
What other medicines may interact with Azithromycin oral suspension?
What should I watch out for while using this medicine?
Can Azithromycin suspension cause any serious side effects?
How should I store this medicine?
What does Azithromycin cure?
Can I drink alcohol while taking Azithromycin suspension?
Are there any special dietary instructions I should follow?
What happens if chlamydia is left untreated?
Are chlamydia and gonorrhoea treated with the same antibiotics?
Will diarrhoea or sickness affect the chlamydia treatments azithromycin and doxycycline?
What if Azithromycin treatment doesn't work?
Will Azithromycin treat pink eye, strep, and UTI infections?
Is it safe to take this medication during pregnancy or while breastfeeding?
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
Tell your doctor before taking this medicine if you are already taking:
- Ergotamine or dihydroergotamine
- Ciclosporin or tacrolimus
- 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.
If you have any questions or concerns at all, please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor before you start your course of treatment.
Azithromycin 500mg tablets contain the active ingredient azithromycin dihydrate.
The inactive ingredients are: Croscarmellose sodium (E468), magnesium stearate (E572), microcrystalline cellulose (E460), silicium dioxide, (E551), poloxamer, povidone (E1201), talc, and waterfree lactose.
Azithromycin Suspension's active ingredient is azithromycin.
The inactive ingredients are: sucrose (3.87 g per 5 ml), hydroxypropylcellulose, sodium phosphate tribasic anhydrous, xanthan gum and flavourings: artificial banana, artificial cherry and artificial creme de vanilla.
How it works - get your medicine in 3 simple steps
- 1 Choose your treatment Select the treatment or medication you need and answer a few questions online regarding your condition.
- 2 Online consultation Our Independent Prescribers will review your questions and assess your suitability for the medication.
- 3 Receive your delivery Your medication is dispensed and delivered directly to you from our UK based Pharmacy.