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Azithromycin

Azithromycin is a type of antibiotic that can be used for various different conditions, depending on the dosage and treatment period.

As well as treating many other types of infections, azithromycin is also commonly used to treat chlamydia – a sexually transmitted infection that can often be asymptomatic (showing no symptoms).

Azithromycin is an effective treatment for chlamydia, often only requiring one dose to kill the infection, though it’s often recommended to abstain from sex for a week to avoid the spread or re-infection of the bacteria.

Last PIL Review Date: 27/11/2019

See Azithromycin Tablets Patient Information Leaflet

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Azithromycin (Zithromax) Tablets
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Azithromycin is a type of antibiotic that can be used for various different conditions, depending on the dosage and treatment period.

As well as treating many other types of infections, azithromycin is also commonly used to treat chlamydia – a sexually transmitted infection that can often be asymptomatic (showing no symptoms).

Azithromycin is an effective treatment for chlamydia, often only requiring one dose to kill the infection, though it’s often recommended to abstain from sex for a week to avoid the spread or re-infection of the bacteria.

Last PIL Review Date: 27/11/2019

See Azithromycin Tablets Patient Information Leaflet

Details

Chlamydia antibiotics

Azithromycin is perhaps the most common antibiotic for chlamydia due to the fact that it only needs to be taken once as a 1000mg dose (or two 500mg tablets). However, there are other antibiotics available that can treat chlamydia, such as doxycycline, which needs to be taken for up to 14 days.

Antibiotics are effective against chlamydia trachomatis – the bacteria that causes the chlamydia infection. Most people that take azithromycin for chlamydia find that the infection clears up within 1-2 weeks, and they can resume sexual activity as normal once this time is over.

Chlamydia requires treatment with antibiotics, as it’s unlikely that your body will be able to get rid of the infection on its own. If the STI is left untreated, it can cause problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and an increased risk of ectopic pregnancies. For men, untreated chlamydia can cause inflammation of the testicles as well as reactive arthritis.

If you suspect that you might have chlamydia, you should visit your local sexual health clinic to get tested.

Azithromycin uses

Apart from being a fast and effective treatment for chlamydia, azithromycin is also a useful antibiotic for treating other bacterial infections such as:

  • Chest infections
  • Infections of the sinuses, throat, tonsils and ears
  • Skin or soft tissue infections such as folliculitis, cellulitis and erysipelas

Azithromycin can also be used to treat traveller’s diarrhoea in some cases.

Is azithromycin safe?

For most people, azithromycin is a safe treatment for chlamydia, and clears up the infection in around a week or two. However, there might be some people that aren’t able to take it due to other health conditions or allergies that azithromycin might make worse.

If you have any of the following conditions or problems, you should speak to your GP or pharmacist before you buy azithromycin to see if it’s a safe or suitable treatment for you:

  • Allergic to azithromycin, macrolide or ketolide antibiotics
  • History of serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Severe kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Diagnosed with any neurological disease
  • History of mental, emotional or behavioural issues
  • Taking ergot alkaloids (usually use to treat migraines)
  • Prolonged QT interval
  • Slow or irregular heart beat
  • Heart disease or heart failure
  • Low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood

Azithromycin can potentially increase the risk of experiencing abnormal heart rhythm, hence why people with known heart issues should avoid the antibiotic unless otherwise advised by their own GP.

There are also some medicines that are known to interact with azithromycin, potentially causing problems for the patient. Because of this, you’re advised to speak to a GP or pharmacist if you take any of the following drugs before you buy azithromycin:

Ergotamine
Dihydroergotamine
Warfarin/anticoagulants
Ciclosporin
Digoxin
Colchicine
Antacids
Cisapride
Anti-arrythmics
Terfenadine
Statins
Alfentanil
Astemizole

Each mediation interaction can cause different symptoms that may be dangerous. If you aren’t sure if any of your current medications are in the list above, take a list of them to your local pharmacist and ask them to check for interactions with azithromycin.

In some cases, your own GP may be able to make the decision to prescribe azithromycin to you even if you do take one of the medications above. However, this is something that must be done during a face to face consultation, and not through iMeds UK.

Azithromycin side effects

Azithromycin is a prescription medicine, and that means that it has the potential to cause some unwanted side effects. However, in a vast majority of cases, the benefits of the drug far outweigh any side effects that you might experience.

It’s important to know that not everybody experiences side effects with azithromycin, and you shouldn’t let the list put you off taking it for your chlamydia infection. There are usually ways to deal with side effects if you do get them, but chlamydia is something that always needs treatment.

Some of the most common azithromycin side effects include:

Diarrhoea
Nausea
Abdominal pain
Flatulence
Headache
Dizziness
Drowsiness
Taste changes
Numbness/pins and needles
Visual disturbances
Deafness
Vomiting
Indigestion
Skin rash
Itching
Joint pain
Tiredness
Change in white blood cell count
Low blood bicarbonate
Reduced sensation
Change in liver function
Photosensitivity
Yeast infections
Other infections
Allergic reaction
Reduced appetite
Nervousness
Insomnia
Vertigo
Tinnitus
Palpitations
Hot flushes
Pneumonia
General swelling
Nose bleeds
Constipation
Gastritis
Problems swallowing
Bloating
Dry mouth
Mouth ulcers
Pain
Dermatitis
Increased sweating
Kidney pain

It’s important to know that this isn’t an exhaustive list of azithromycin side effects, and only contains the ones classified as very common to uncommon. Rarer side effects can be found in the patient information leaflet (PIL) that’s included in your order when you buy azithromycin. Please familiarise yourself with this leaflet and read it thoroughly before taking any azithromycin tablets.

As well as these more common side effects, there are also some serious ones that you should know about that require immediate medical attention. These include:

Stevens-Johnson syndrome
Hepatitis
Jaundice
Skin blisters
Anaphylaxis
Rash, fever and swollen glands
Toxic epidermal necrolysis
Erythema multiforme
Disturbances to heart rhythm
Haemolytic anaemia
Pancreatitis
Kidney failure
Liver failure
Seizures

If you experience any of the following either during or just after treatment with azithromycin, ring 999 immediately and state your symptoms and medication.

You should also inform your GP if you experience severe diarrhoea during or after taking azithromycin for chlamydia.

Azithromycin in pregnancy

Azithromycin isn’t usually recommended to be taken by pregnant women, due to the fact that there isn’t enough research into the safety of the drug during pregnancy. However, some GPs may prescribe it to you whilst you’re pregnant if they believe that the benefits could outweigh the potential risks of taking it.

iMeds isn’t able to prescribe azithromycin to you if you’re pregnant, but we advise you to make an appointment with your GP to talk about other treatment options and which one would be safest for you and your baby.

As well as being unsuitable for pregnant women, it is also not advised to breastfeed whilst taking azithromycin. This is because some of the drug is secreted in your milk and cause side effects in your baby such as diarrhoea or certain infections. You should always ask the advice of your health visitor or GP if you’re breast feeding but need to take azithromycin. There may be more suitable treatments for you.

Buy azithromycin

Azithromycin is a prescription-only medicine, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to see your GP if you need it. You can now buy azithromycin from iMeds UK after completing an online consultation for chlamydia.

Once you’ve filled out the consultation form, it will be sent to one of our doctors for review, and if approved, your order will be shipped to you from our partner pharmacy via whichever delivery method you choose.

It’s easy and safe to buy azithromycin – you just need to fill out all of our doctors’ questions as thoroughly and truthfully as you can so that they can get a full insight into whether your chosen treatment is right for you.

When you buy azithromycin online, you can do so at a time to suit you in the comfort of your own home.

Dosage instructions
Take BOTH tablets (1000mg) as a single dose. Please read information leaflet provided.