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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: AzaSite

Generic Name: azithromycin ophthalmic (Pronunciation: a ZITH roe MYE sin off THAL mik)

What is azithromycin ophthalmic (AzaSite)?

Azithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic that fights bacteria.

Azithromycin ophthalmic (for the eyes) is used to treat eye infections caused by bacteria.

Azithromycin ophthalmic may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of azithromycin ophthalmic (AzaSite)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Although the risk of serious side effects is low when azithromycin ophthalmic is used in the eyes, you should be aware of side effects that can occur if the medication is absorbed into your bloodstream. Stop using the medicine and get emergency medical help if you have any signs of a severe skin reaction, such as:

  • fever, sore throat;
  • swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes; or
  • skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.

Stop using azithromycin ophthalmic and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • drainage or crusting of your eye;
  • severe burning, stinging, itching, or other irritation after using the eye drops;
  • feeling like there is something in your eye;
  • watery eyes, increased light sensitivity;
  • eye redness or swelling; or
  • any signs of a new infection.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • blurred vision;
  • stuffy nose; or
  • mild stinging, burning, or irritation of your eyes.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about azithromycin ophthalmic (AzaSite)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to azithromycin.

Do not use this medication while wearing contact lenses. Azithromycin ophthalmic may contain a preservative that can discolor soft contact lenses. Wait at least 15 minutes after using azithromycin ophthalmic before putting your contact lenses in.

You should not wear contact lenses while you still have active symptoms of the eye infection you are treating.

Use this medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the infection is completely cleared.

Serious side effects of azithromycin ophthalmic may include eye drainage or crusting, severe eye irritation, feeling like there is something in your eye, watery eyes, increased light sensitivity, eye redness or swelling, any signs of new infection.

Although the risk of serious side effects is low when azithromycin ophthalmic is used in the eyes, side effects can occur if the medicine is absorbed into your bloodstream. Stop using the medicine and get emergency medical help if you have any signs of a severe skin reaction, such as fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling.



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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