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azithromycin (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking azithromycin?

You should not use this medication if you have ever had jaundice or liver problems caused by taking azithromycin. You should not use azithromycin if you are allergic to it or to similar drugs such as erythromycin (E-Mycin, Ery-Tab, E.E.S.), clarithromycin (Biaxin), telithromycin (Ketek), or troleandomycin (Tao).

To make sure you can safely take azithromycin, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • myasthenia gravis;
  • a heart rhythm disorder; or
  • a history of Long QT syndrome.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

It is not known whether azithromycin passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not take this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take azithromycin?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label. The dose and length of treatment with azithromycin may not be the same for every type of infection.

To use the oral suspension single dose packet: Open the packet and pour the medicine into 2 ounces of water. Stir this mixture and drink all of it right away. Do not save for later use. Throw away any mixed oral suspension that has not been used within 12 hours.

To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.

Azithromycin may be taken with or without food. Take the medicine with food if it upsets your stomach.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) well just before you measure a dose. To be sure you get the correct dose, measure the liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

Take this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Azithromycin will not treat a viral infection such as the common cold or flu.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Throw away any unused liquid medicine after 10 days.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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