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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.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), 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:
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 use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Do not give this medicine to a child younger than 6 months old.
Older adults may be more likely to have side effects on heart rhythm, including a life-threatening fast heart rate.
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.
You may take most forms of azithromycin with or without food.
Take Zmax extended release liquid (oral suspension) on an empty stomach, at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after a meal.
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. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more water to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away.
Throw away any mixed Zmax oral suspension that has not been used within 12 hours.
Shake the oral suspension well just before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-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 medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared. Skipping doses may also increase your risk of further infection that is resistant to antibiotics. 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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