1. About Zitromax
Zitromax is an antibiotic.
It's widely used to treat chest infections such as pneumonia, infections of the nose and throat such as sinus infection (sinusitis), skin infections, Lyme disease, and some sexually transmitted infections.
Zitromax is used in children, often to treat ear infections or chest infections.
It can also be used long term to prevent chest infections in people who keep getting them.
The medicine is available on prescription as capsules, tablets and a liquid that you drink. It can also be given by injection, but this is usually only done in hospital.
Michael Stewart, Reviewed by Sid Dajani | Last edited 31 May 2017 | Certified by The Information Standard
Zitromax is a macrolide antibiotic. It can be taken by people who are allergic to penicillin.
It is important to complete the prescribed course (unless you are told to stop). Otherwise your infection could come back.
Any side-effects are usually mild. The most common are diarrhoea, feeling sick (nausea) and headache.
Can Zitromax cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the most common ones associated with Zitromax. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.
In Study 155, discontinuations for drug-related toxicity occurred in 8.2% of subjects treated with Zitromax and 2.3% of those given placebo (p=0.121). In Study 174, more subjects discontinued from the combination of Zitromax and rifabutin (22.7%) than from Zitromax alone (13.5%; p=0.026) or rifabutin alone (15.9%; p=0.209).
Dosage Forms And Strengths
ZITHROMAX 600 mg tablets (engraved on front with “PFIZER” and on back with “308”) are supplied as white, modified oval-shaped, film-coated tablets containing Zitromax dihydrate equivalent to 600 mg Zitromax. These are packaged in bottles of 30 tablets.
ZITHROMAX for oral suspension 1000 mg/5 mL is supplied in single-dose packets containing Zitromax dihydrate equivalent to 1 gram of Zitromax.
What is the most important information I should know about Zitromax?
You should not use Zitromax if you have ever had an allergic reaction, jaundice, or liver problems while taking this medicine. You should not use Zitromax if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to similar drugs such as clarithromycin, erythromycin, or telithromycin.
Susceptibility Testing for MAC
The disk diffusion techniques and dilution methods for susceptibility testing against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria should not be used for determining Zitromax MIC values against mycobacteria. In vitro susceptibility testing methods and diagnostic products currently available for determining MIC values against MAC organisms have not been standardized or validated. Zitromax MIC values will vary depending on the susceptibility testing method employed, composition and pH of media, and the utilization of nutritional supplements. Breakpoints to determine whether clinical isolates of M. avium or M. intracellulare are susceptible or resistant to Zitromax have not been established.
The clinical relevance of Zitromax in vitro susceptibility test results for other mycobacterial species, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, using any susceptibility testing method has not been determined.
As these patients with advanced HIV disease were taking multiple concomitant medications and experienced a variety of intercurrent illnesses, it was often difficult to attribute adverse reactions to study medication. Overall, the nature of adverse reactions seen on the weekly dosage regimen of Zitromax over a period of approximately one year in patients with advanced HIV disease were similar to that previously reported for shorter course therapies.
INCIDENCE OF ONE OR MORE TREATMENT-RELATED a ADVERSE REACTIONS b IN HIV INFECTED PATIENTS RECEIVING PROPHYLAXIS FOR DISSEMINATED MAC OVER APPROXIMATELY 1 YEAR
Adverse reactions related to the gastrointestinal tract were seen more frequently in patients receiving Zitromax than in those receiving placebo or rifabutin. In Study 174, 86% of diarrheal episodes were mild to moderate in nature with discontinuation of therapy for this reason occurring in only 9/233 (3.8%) of patients.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
Long-term studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate carcinogenic potential. Zitromax has shown no mutagenic potential in standard laboratory tests: mouse lymphoma assay, human lymphocyte clastogenic assay, and mouse bone marrow clastogenic assay. No evidence of impaired fertility due to Zitromax was found in rats given daily doses up to 10 mg/kg (approximately 0.2 times an adult daily dose of 600 mg based on body surface area).
ZITHROMAX tablets may be taken with or without food. However, increased tolerability has been observed when tablets are taken with food.
ZITHROMAX for oral suspension in single 1 g packets can be taken with or without food after constitution.
Patients should also be cautioned not to take aluminum- and magnesium-containing antacids and Zitromax simultaneously.
The patient should be directed to discontinue Zitromax immediately and contact a physician if any signs of an allergic reaction occur.
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs, including ZITHROMAX, should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When ZITHROMAX is prescribed to treat bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by ZITHROMAX or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibacterial which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibacterials, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibacterial. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.
Other uses for this medicine
Zitromax is also used sometimes to treat H. pylori infection, travelers' diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal infections; Legionnaires' disease (a type of lung infection); pertussis (whooping cough; a serious infection that can cause severe coughing); and babesiosis (an infectious disease carried by ticks). It is also used to prevent heart infection in people having dental or other procedures, and to prevent STD in victims of sexual assault. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.