Azithromycin; Zithromax

31/03/2009 13:00


Brand Name: Zithromax

Pregnancy Category B

Drug class: Macrolide antibiotic


Therapeutic actions

Bacteriostatic or bactericidal in susceptible bacteria.


· Treatment of lower respiratory tract infections: acute bacterial exacerbations of COPD due to H. influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, S. pneumoniae; community-acquired pneumonia due to S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae

· Treatment of lower respiratory tract infections: streptococcal pharyngitis/tonsillitis due to Streptococcus pyogenes in those who cannot take penicillins

· Treatment of uncomplicated skin infections due to Staphylococcus aureus, S. pyogenes, Streptococcus agalactiae

· Treatment of nongonococcal urethritis and cervicitis due to C. trachomatis; treatment of PID

· Treatment of otitis media caused by H. influenzae, M. catarrhalis, S. pneumoniae in children > 6 mo

· Treatment of pharyngitis/tonsillitis in children > 2 yr who cannot use first-line therapy

· Prevention and treatment of disseminated Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) in patients with advanced AIDS

· Unlabeled uses: uncomplicated gonococcal infections caused by N. gonorrhoeae; gonococcal pharyngitis caused by N. gonorrhoeae; chlamydial infections caused by C. trachomatis; prophylaxis after sexual attack



· Contraindicated with hypersensitivity to azithromycin, erythromycin, or any macrolide antibiotic.


Adverse effects

Dizziness, headache, vertigo, somnolence, fatigue, Diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, dyspepsia, flatulence, vomiting, melena, pseudomembranous colitis, Superinfections, angioedema, rash, photosensitivity, vaginitis

Drug Interactions

· Decreased serum levels and effectiveness of azithromycin with aluminum and magnesium-containing antacids

· Possible increased effects of theophylline

· Possible increased anticoagulant effects of warfarin

· Food greatly decreases the absorption of azithromycin

Nursing considerations

· Culture site of infection before therapy.

· Administer on an empty stomach--1 hr before or 2–3 hr after meals. Food affects the absorption of this drug.

· Counsel patients being treated for STDs about appropriate precautions and additional therapy.