- Name: Zithromax
- Brand Name: Azovid / Azee / Azotik / Azithral / Zithromac / Vinzam / Zmax / Sumamed / Zitrocin / Aziswift
- Active ingredient: Azithromycin
- Used for: Bacterial Infection Treatment
- Dosages (mg): 100/250/500/1000
- Drug Class: Antibiotics
- What is Zithromax (Azithromycin)?
- Therapeutic Indications of Zithromax
- Zithromax’s Generics: Any Differences?
- Dosage and Rules of Intake
- Zithromax Side Effects
- Who Cannot Use Zithromax?
- Zithromax and Other Drugs: Tips for Co-administration
- Special Notes for Zithromax
What is Zithromax (Zmax / Azithromycin)?
Zithromax is a new-age antibiotic famous for its high strength and effectiveness. It is aimed at killing various infections of bacterial etiology including sexually transmitted ones.
Zithromax’s active ingredient is Azithromycin. The major distinctive feature of Azithromycin is its ability to stop bacteria growth in the human body and to improve human’s immunity for further recovery from bacterial infection.
Azithromycin has wide spectrum of effect, inhibits protein synthesis, bacterial growth as well as has anti-bacterial effect if taken in large dosage. It affects both outer- and intracellular causative agents.
Azithromycin is active against Gram-positive microorganisms such as Streptococcus (of various kinds), Staphylococcus (different kinds) and Gram-negative bacteria such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomantis, Mycoplasma pneumonale, Ureaplasma eurealyticum and so on. Azithromycin is not active against Gram-positive bacteria resistant to Erythromycin.
Therapeutic Indications of Zithromax
Zithromax is prescribed for the treatment of:
- Infections of upper respiratory tracts and organs caused by microorganisms sensitive to Azithromycin: pharyngitis, tonsillitis, sinusitis, otitis, scarlet fever;
- Lower respiratory tracts: pneumonia (including atypical pneumonia and acute condition of chronic pneumonia), bronchitis;
- Skin infections: erysipelatous inflammation, impetigo, secondarily-infected dermatoses;
- Urinary tract infections caused by Chlamidia trachomatis such as gonorrheal and non-gonorrheal urethritis, cervicitis, Lyme disease (starting stage);
- Gastroduodenal ulcer associated with Helicobacter pylori (as a part of complex therapy).
Zithromax is applied even for the treatment of infections that are opportunistic infections of HIV infected people.
Zithromax’s Generics: Any Differences?
Generic versions of Zithromax are called Azithromycin. Other branded names of Zithromax offered at the market include Azovid / Azithral / Zithromac / Zmax / Sumamed / Zitrocin.
There is no big difference between the content of the original product and the generic one as all the generics are produced in strict compliance with the original formula. Some slight differences can be in the content of auxiliary components that do not influence the major medical action of the medicine.
Every original pack of Zithromax produced by the European branded company contains three pills with 500 mg content of the active ingredient. Generic Zithromax is packed by 10 to 180 pills (depending upon the dosage of Azithromycin); the dosage of each pill varies from 250 to 1000 mg of the active ingredient which makes it much easier for patients to choose the proper pack size and dosage variant.
The other important difference between the branded and generic medications is the price. Each pill of generic Zithromax costs several times less than the branded pill. So, attractive price is the major distinctive feature of the generic drug: producers of generics have the possibility to reduce production costs (because of production placement in the countries with low production and labour costs) and marketing costs expenses (generics do not need large-scale marketing investigations and promotion campaign) and as the result, to reduce the price for the final product. Thus, the customer obtains high-quality and effective medication at very reasonable price.
Dosage and Rules of Intake
The dosage of Zithromax should be defined only by the doctor after the consultation and diagnosis establishment. The dosage is defined according to the age of the patient, the diagnosed disease, morbidity and sensitivity of the disease producing factor.
Average adult dosage makes up 250 – 1000 mg of Azithromycin per day; the pill can be taken once a day, with or without food.
The treatment scheme for adults with bacterial contamination of upper and lower respiratory tracts as well as with skin and soft tissue bacterial infections is as follows:
- 1st day –500 mg of the active ingredient;
- 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th days – 250 mg of Azithromycin;
- Or 3 day therapy, 500 mg every day.
Adults with urogenital infections are prescribed 2 pills per 1000 mg as a single dose.
Pediatric dosages are calculated according to the child’s weight at the rate of 5-10 mg per 1 kg. Note! The child’s weight should not be less than 10 kg. The pediatric therapy scheme is as follows:
- 1st day – 10 mg per 1 kg;
- 2rd, 3rd, 4th and 5th days – 5 mg per 1 kg;
- Or 30 days per 30 mg per1 kg, the therapy duration is 3 days.
The duration of Zithromax therapy should not exceed 2 – 5 days.
Zithromax Generic Side Effects
As any other antibiotic Zithromax may cause serious side effects for the patients’ health especially if they are allergic to the Azithromycin. The most common allergic reactions involve skin eruption, angioedema, erythema multiform, Stevens – Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis. In rarer cases the patient may experience photosensitivity.
Side effects of Azithromycin may also influence the other internal systems of the human body. The side effects referring to the gastrointestinal system involve nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (bloody or watery) or constipation, stomach pains (including severe ones), meteorism, transient increase of liver enzymes and cholestatic jaundice (in very rare cases).
The patient taking Zithromax may suffer from dizziness (including severe one), headaches, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, somnolence (rare cases are reported) and weakness.
Hematopoietic system may be affected in the form of leukopenia, neutropenia or thrombocytopenia.
The intake of Zithromax may also trigger various genitourinary side effects such as vaginitis, candidiasis, nephritis, and increase of urinary uric nitrogen.
The other side effects may involve hyperglycemia or arthralgia.
Who Cannot Use Generic Zithromax?
Doctors insist that the patients refuse taking Zithromax by themselves in order to avoid negative consequences for their health. The reason of such recommendation lies in the nature of Azithromycin, the active ingredient, that works effectively and at the same time requires intensive work of the human internal systems especially gastrointestinal one.
Azithromycin is removed from the human body via kidney and liver that is why people who suffered or are suffering from any liver or kidney disorders should take the medication carefully and only under the doctor’s control.
Another risk group includes patients with high sensitivity to Azithromycin and other antibiotics referring to the group of macrolides. Such patients should inform their health care specialist about the possible allergic reactions.
Zithromax is not used in babies with the weight under 10 kg.
Azithromycin and Other Drugs: Tips for Co-administration
- Pharmaceutical experts have defined several groups of drugs which cannot be combined with Zithromax without severe consequences for the human health.
- The simultaneous intake of Zithromax with ergot alkaloids may increase the risk of St. Anthony’ fire. Azithromycin together with warfarin may intensify the medical effect of the latter.
- Azythromycin is not co-administered with digoxin or digitoxin as this combination may cause significant increase of cardiac glycosides in blood plasma and lead to the glycoside intoxication.
- The simultaneous intake of Azithromycin and disopyramide is reported to cause ventricular fibrillation. Zithromax and lovastatin increase the risk of rhabdomyolysis.
- Doctors do not prescribe Zithromax with rifabutin as patients may incur a risk of neutropenia or leukopenia. If taken together with cyclosporine Azithromycin may trigger the risk of side effects and toxic reactions caused by cyclosporine.
- If you are in therapy with any of the above-mentioned or other drugs please take care of your health and inform your doctor about any drugs you are prescribed.
Special Notes for Zithromax Generic
Special information refers to the pregnancy and lactating period. Some special sources include Zithromax into the group of drugs which are not recommended for pregnant women as Azithromycin can penetrate through placenta. Doctors recommend women to inform whether they are pregnant or are going to have a child because Azithromycin may also minimize the action of the birth control pills. Besides, some other pharmaceutical sources insist that there is no risk for the baby. However, Canadian Pharmacy Team recommends that pregnant women apply to the doctor and take Zithromax only in cases when the potential benefit to the mother exceeds any potential risk to the fetus.
During the lactating period it is necessary to decide upon the ablactation as Azithromycin penetrates the breast milk and may harm the baby.