Azithromycin is an antibiotic used in the treatment of various infections, including chlamydia. Azithromycin is a type of antibiotic known as a macrolide. It works by inhibiting the growth and reproduction of bacteria and causing them to die off.
Azithromycin cures chlamydia in 97% of cases. If your symptoms are still present after you have completed your treatment, you should see your doctor and you may need to be re-tested. As with all antibiotics, bacteria can become resistant, which may mean the treatment might not work as well. You may need a different antibiotic if the first treatment has not cleared the infection.
Chlamydia is readily passed on through sexual contact with an infected partner and can affect the vagina, rectum and/or throat (pharynx). It can be asymptomatic in up to 90% of women and 50% of men. Symptoms in men include discharge from the penis, pain on urination (dysuria) and painful testicles. Symptoms in women include an increase or change in vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, pain during sex (dyspareunia) and unscheduled vaginal bleeding (e.g. bleeding after sex, or between periods).
Anyone who has had unprotected sex, including oral or anal, should get tested for chlamydia. It's recommended to get tested for chlamydia, and other STIs, each time you change partners.
If you have symptoms, it is important to not only get tested for chlamydia, but for other STIs which may be the cause for your symptoms.
Chlamydia is easily cured with antibiotics. In 97–98% of cases, the infection will be cured with the first course of treatment. Very rarely, antibiotic therapy may not work and symptoms of chlamydia can return. However, most people who get another chlamydia infection after treatment have been reinfected by a partner, or the medication was not taken correctly. To reduce the chance of treatment failure, you should follow the doctor’s instructions exactly and complete the course of treatment. You should also ensure your sexual partners are tested and treated as well and you should avoid sexual contact until you and your partner(s) have completed the course of treatment. Using barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, is one of the most effective ways to protect against catching chlamydia.
The active ingredient in Azithromycin is, azithromycin monohydrate or azithromycin dihydrate, which are both forms of an antibiotic used to treat a range of infections.
The inactive ingredients in Azithromycin are croscarmellose sodium (E468), magnesium stearate (E572), microcrystalline cellulose (E460), silicium dioxide, (E551), poloxamer, povidone (E1201), hypromellose (E464), hydroxypropylcellulose, macrogol and titanium dioxide (E171), talc, and lactose.
Please Note: Inactive ingredients can vary between different brands of generic doxycycline. Check the Patient Information Leaflet provided for more information.
In rare cases, it is possible to have a serious allergic reaction to Azithromycin. A severe allergic reaction needs urgent medical attention so make sure to visit your emergency room immediately if you notice the following symptoms. Facial/lip swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing, chest tightness and a wheeze are signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.
You should take Azithromycin according to the prescribing doctor’s instructions. The usual dose of Azithromycin for treatment of chlamydia is 1g in a single dose. This may involve taking four 250mg tablets, or two 500mg tablets.
Each tablet should be swallowed whole with a glass of water and should be taken at least one hour before, or two hours after, eating food.
The usual dose of Azithromycin for treatment of chlamydia is 1g in a single dose. This may involve taking four 250mg tablets, or two 500mg tablets.
Common side effects of Azithromycin include:
Serious side effects:
If you experience any of these serious side effects, you should stop taking the medicine and seek immediate medical attention:
Other side effects:
If you experience any of these side effects, you should consult your doctor:
This list of side effects is not exhaustive, there is more information contained within the package.
You should inform the prescribing doctor if you are taking, have taken or are planning to take any other medications, including non-prescription medications purchased over the counter, herbal remedies, vitamins and recreational drugs.
Azithromycin may interact with other medications. It is important to tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications:
This list does not include all medications that may interact with Azithromycin, so it is important that you let your doctor know about any other medications, alternative medicines, supplements, over the counter treatments and recreational drugs that you may be taking.
Alcohol does not reduce the effectiveness of treatment, but it can cause dehydration, compromise your liver function and cause side effects. Therefore you should avoid drinking alcohol when taking Azithromycin.
Existing research suggests that Azithromycin is safe to take during pregnancy and should not cause harm to you or your baby. If you are pregnant, it is always worth checking that no new research has been undertaken causing this advice to be changed.
Azithromycin is not known to be harmful during pregnancy and is often prescribed to pregnant women for the treatment of chlamydia. However, if you are pregnant, there is a chance you may be pregnant, or you plan on becoming pregnant you should disclose this to the prescribing doctor.
Aciclovir is passed into the breast milk of breastfeeding women. It is not thought to be harmful to the child, however, if you are breastfeeding and require Azithromycin, it is important to disclose this to the prescribing doctor.
You and your partner(s) should avoid sexual contact until you have completed treatment for chlamydia. It is also important for your partner(s) to be tested and treated if required to avoid re-infection.
If you have been prescribed a single 1g dose of Azithromycin, you should avoid sexual contact for 1 week after taking the tablet(s).
In 2008, the MHRA announced that Azithromycin may be made available over the counter without prescription as Clamelle. This is only available in selected pharmacies and is only for use for those who are asymptomatic but who have tested positive for chlamydia, or who have a partner who has tested positive for chlamydia.
It is safe to order Azithromycin from a registered and regulated pharmacy, including an online pharmacy. In the UK, you should look for:
Dr Felix is a registered UK online pharmacy, using only GMC registered doctors. For more information, please visit: https://www.drfelix.co.uk/about-us/
Zithromax is a brand of Azithromycin available on prescription for the treatment of chlamydia and other bacterial infections.