Zithromax is one of those antibiotics that everyone should know about. Antibiotics can be a fantastic weapon against infections when used correctly, but they can also hamper the healing process if you do not follow the prescribed rules of use. Zithromax (azythromycin) is no exception. It is extremely effective against a wide range of bacterial and fungal infections, but its very potency means that you have to be careful when using it. In this overview, we will introduce Zithromax, the conditions it treats, correct doses and application, possible side effects and interactions, and much more.
What is Zitrhromax and how does it work?
Zithromax (azythromycin) belongs to the group of macrolide antibiotics. Its mechanism of action involves inhibiting the formation of bacterial proteins, thus blocking the further growth of bacterial populations and the death of existing bacteria. Azythromycin was discovered in 1980 and is now firmly established on the list of essential medications formed by the World Health Organization. It is available both as a brand-name and as a generic medication and usually comes in pills of 250 mg. Zithromax is easily absorbed by the body and takes circa 70 hours to be fully flushed out of your system if you take a 500 mg dose. It is efficient against a great variety of bacteria, though many microorganisms tend to develop resistance if you don’t take Zithromax in the correct way (more on this below). Zithromax is both the first-line treatment for infections of ears, lungs, throat, and genitourinary tract and part of many complex antibiotics treatments for other diseases.
Warning!! Remember that Zithromax, just like all antibiotics, is completely useless against viruses! Unfortunately, there are still many people who don’t know this and try to treat flu or common cold with Zithromax. It will not work and you can cause yourself harm. Antibiotics can kill bacteria and fungi, but viruses can only be killed or deactivated by your own immune system. If you take Zithromax when you have a viral infection, then any harmful bacteria present in your body will get a chance to develop resistance to it; if you pass these bacteria to someone else, they will be resistant in their body from the very beginning. Thus, misuse of Zithromax can spur growing global resistance of bacteria to antibiotics.
Conditions treated by Zirthromax
The range of infections habitually treated with Zithromax is very wide, but here are some common ones:
- Otitis media, or inflammation of the middle ear: it is common in children and is characterized by pain, a sensation of pulling, difficulty sleeping, and fever. If left untreated, otitis can become chronic and even lead to hearing loss. Zithromax is usually prescribed in a single dose of 500 mg (two pill), then one pill a day for 4 days.
- Community-acquired pneumonia – inflammation of the alveoli, or air pockets in the lungs. Its symptoms are cough, pain in the chest and breathing issues. However, since similar symptoms occur with other (non-bacterial) conditions, blood tests and an x-ray is needed. If pneumonia is confirmed, Zithromax is taken as a 500 mg dose once, then 250 mg a day for 4 days.
- Tonsillitis – inflammation of the tonsils (glands in the back of your mouth) accompanied by sore throat, fever, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Note that only 40% of tonsillitis cases are bacterial (the rest are viral), so a blood test is necessary. Zithromax doses are the same as for pneumonia.
- Sinusitis – inflammation of sinuses (in the sides of your nose). Symptoms include blocked nose, thick mucus, facial pain, fever, and sore throat. If it doesn’t go away for more than 10 days, then it is probably bacterial and Zithromax should be taken: (500 mg a day for 3 days).
- Mycobacterium avium infection – the symptoms are cough, fever, diarrhea, and weight loss (similar to tuberculosis). Can be very dangerous in people with a weak immune system (HIV, cancer, etc.). Zithromax dose is 1 pill daily together with other antibiotics, sometimes for months.
- Cat-scratch disease: transmitted with scratches or bites, mostly from kittens. Its symptoms are a crusted lesion on the skin, fever, swollen glands, and fatigue. Zythromax dose: 500 mg first day, then 250 mg for 4 days.
- Bacterial complications of the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): dosages and length of use depends on the complication.
- Skin infections: Zithromax is extremely effective against uncomplicated skin infections – such inflamed skin next to the nail due to a manicure error or an infected insect bite. Zithromax dose: 500 mg first day, then 250 mg for 4 days.
- Genital ulcers (chancroid) – a sexually transmitted infection, widespread in less developed countries. Zithromax is given as a single dose of 1000 mg.
Why Zirthromax is different from other antibiotics?
Zithromax has a number of advantages that make it a great choice compared to other antibiotics:
- Wide range of action: from ear infections to sexually transmitted diseases.
- Safety: unlike many other antibiotics, Zithromax has few side effects, and they are usually temporary (such as diarrhea and abdominal pain); for example, it doesn’t make your teeth grey the way tetracycline does.
- Reduced contraindications and drug interactions: among all other drugs only one – pymozide – is really contraindicated when taking Zithromax. While people with some conditions (heart, liver, kidney – see below) should be careful when taking Zithromax, it is generally very safe for the vast majority of people.
- Availability – since it is on the WHO essential list, Zithromax is readily available from any good online pharmacy (beware of counterfeits, though!)
- Affordability – prices for Zithromax can be surprisingly low if you buy it from a large online pharmacy in Canada, such as My Canadian Pharmacy.
Maximizing efficiency and minimizing side effects
Zithromax can turn out to be the most efficient medication you have ever taken, as long as you read the instructions carefully and follow your doctor’s recommendation.
Remember – we give only indications, and your doctor is the only person who can decide how exactly you should take Zithromax.
- Try to take Zithromax at the same time every day to maintain the concentration of azythromycin in your blood. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember, but if it is the next day already, then just take the next doe – do not take a second pill to compensate!
- You may feel a great relief in your symptoms after just one dose, but you still must complete the whole treatment (3, 4 days, or more) – otherwise and residual bacteria in your system can regrow, multiply, and become resistant.
- Beware of side effects. According to statistics, common side effects of Zythromax include diarrhea (circa 50% of people who take an initial high dose) and abdominal pain (30%). Some people get nausea and general malaise. You have to stop taking the drug and call your doctor immediately if you develop irregular or fast heartbeat or stomach cramps.
- Take note of contraindications. Only one drug – the antiphyschotic pimozide – is strictly contraindicated, but many other drugs can cause issues when taken together with Zithromax; you will find a full list in the information leaflet you receive together with your pills when buying from My Canadian Pharmacy or another online pharmacy.
- Know if you are in a risk group. Generally, pregnant women should not take Zithromax unless they really have to. Further, you should consult with your doctor if you have cardiovascular disease, liver issues, kidney problems, or any other chronic conditions.
Zithromax is absorbed faster on an empty stomach; however, taking it with food will help you avoid abdominal pain.
We hope you have found our overview useful. If you have any other questions concerning Zithromax and other antibiotic, don’t hesitate to contact Canadian Health&Care Mall support team – we are there for you 24/7!