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Azithromycin belongs to the azalide class of antibiotics, which is a type of macrolide antibiotic. It is used to treat bacterial infections of the middle ear, strep throat, intestinal infections, traveler’s diarrhea, and pneumonia. In a combination with other medicines, the antibiotic can also be prescribed to treat malaria. Azithromycin works by affecting protein synthesis in bacteria, halting their growth.


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What is Azithromycin?

It belongs to the class Macrolide comprising a broad antibacterial spectrum similar to but not identical to Penicillin. As a macrolide antibiotic, it inhibits the protein synthesis of bacteria by targeting its ribosome. Azithromycin treats an extensive range of bacterial infections by stopping their growth.

Its work works against some penicillin-resistant bacteria. Doctors sometimes prescribe Azithromycin as an alternative treatment for penicillin-allergic patients.

What does Azithromycin treat?

It aids in treating bacterial infections such as bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, lung infections, sinuses, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and infections of the skin, throat, and reproductive organs.

It also helps prevent disseminated Mycobacterium Avium complex (MAC) infection, a rare lung infection, that affects people with HIV.

What are the drug interactions of Azithromycin?

When taken with nelfinavir (an HIV drug), the antibiotic medicine can increase the risk of developing liver diseases and hearing problems. It can also increase the potential of blood thinners such as warfarin. Other drugs that interact with the antibiotic drug include digoxin (heart medication), colchicine (gout medicine), phenytoin (seizure medicine), and magnesium or aluminum-based antacids. It also interacts with other antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin

We have not listed all the drugs; make sure to provide your medical history and ongoing medication details with your doctor before prescribing the drug.

What are the side effects of Azithromycin?

Some common side effects include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and headache. However, you must seek emergency help if the symptoms persist or worsen.

Some severe side effects that require immediate emergency help include severe stomach pain, water or bloody diarrhea, heart palpitations, sudden dizziness that felt passing out, fast-beating or pounding heartbeats, and shortness of breath. Some side effects may occur in your livers, including symptoms like loss of appetite, dark urine, jaundice, clay-colored stools, itching, upper stomach pain, nausea, and tiredness.

The antibiotic medication may cause allergic reactions in some people, including swelling on the face or throat, hives, breathing difficulties, fever, swollen glands, muscle pain, flu-like symptoms, severe weakness, rash, unusual bruising, and yellowing of skin or eyes. These reactions may occur while taking Azithromycin or may occur weeks after you complete the course. However, if you notice any allergy symptoms, you need emergency help as soon as possible.

What is the dosage pattern of Azithromycin?

Dosage for Adults:

We have listed the average dosage of Azithromycin for adults. This is only for reference and not for self-medication. Only take Azithromycin as prescribed by your doctor.

For Pneumonia and Sinusitis (ER Suspension): 2g once a day as a single dose.

For infections:

Your doctor may prescribe Azithromycin 500-2000 mg as a single dose taken daily. For some infections, you may need to follow up with a 250-500mg dose daily for several days.

For Pharyngitis or Tonsillitis: 

Doctors usually prescribe 500 mg on the first day as a single dose followed by 250 mg for five days.

Dose for children:

For Pneumonia (ER suspension): 

Children weight 34 kg or more: Usually 2 gm once a day as a single dose.

Children (6 months or older weighing less than 34 kg): usually 60 mg/kg body weight once a day as a single dose.

For sinusitis (ER suspension): Must be determined by the doctor.

For infections (suspension or tablets): 

Children aged six months or older: Usually 10-30 mg per kg of body weight once a day as a single dose. The doctor may prescribe follow-up doses of 5-10 mg per kg/day for several doses.

Children younger than six months: Must be determined by the doctor.

For Pharyngitis or Tonsillitis:

Children 2 years and above: Usually 12 mg per kg body weight once a day for five days.

Children younger than two years: Must be determined by the doctor.