Azithromycin is an antibiotic and is one of the most important agents for bacterial respiratory and skin diseases. Read more here!


Azithromycin is an antibiotic and belongs to the most important remedies for bacterial respiratory and skin diseases. The active ingredient is generally well tolerated. However, azithromycin may interact with many other medications, which must be considered before use. Here you can read everything important about azithromycin.

This is how azithromycin works

mechanism of action

The human immune system protects the body from the implantation and spread of foreign invaders. As soon as a pathogen finds its way into the organism, the immune system reacts immediately and combats it with various mechanisms. As a rule, humans do not notice when the immune system is active, or only mild discomfort occurs as a result of the infection.

Sometimes, however, the bodyguard does not immediately succeed in fighting the pathogens successfully. The symptoms then become more severe. If the body can no longer control the pathogens, medicines can support the body in defense.

These drugs include the antibiotic azithromycin. It blocks protein synthesis in bacterial pathogens. The germs are thereby inhibited in their growth. Thus, the immune system only has to worry about "killing" and excreting the bacteria, and the symptoms of the disease are getting better quickly.

Absorption, breakdown and excretion of azithromycin

Azithromycin is only partially absorbed (approximately 40 percent) from the intestine into the blood. The degradation takes place in the liver. The degradation products are excreted via the kidney (ie with the urine) or via the intestine (with the stool).

When is azithromycin used?

The active substance azithromycin is used in the following diseases (indications), if they are caused by bacteria:

  • Respiratory infections such as bronchitis, tonsillitis
  • Skin and soft tissue infections

This is how azithromycin is used

In general, the active ingredient is taken in the form of tablets before or at a meal. Furthermore, suspensions and solutions are available, which are either ingested or injected into the bloodstream.

The total dose of azithromycin is one and a half grams for respiratory infections, otitis media, and skin and soft tissue infections, which can be taken according to different schedules:

  • 3-day therapy: This is taken over a period of three days 500 milligrams of azithromycin daily.

In genital infections, the total dose is only one gram, which can be taken at once.

For patients weighing less than 45 kilograms, the dosage of azithromycin must be reduced.

What are the side effects of azithromycin?

Very often (in more than ten percent of those treated) it comes to gastrointestinal discomfort. Often, in one to ten percent of those treated, azithromycin causes side effects such as headache, dizziness, rash and blurred vision. Even less common are photosensitivity, liver dysfunction, renal dysfunction, discoloration of the teeth and hearing disorders.

What should be considered when taking azithromycin?


In case of liver dysfunction azithromycin should be used with caution as the active substance is metabolised by the liver. The same applies if the blood salt levels are too low (especially in the case of potassium and magnesium deficiency) and in certain heart problems (prolonged QT time, severe cardiac dysfunction, bradycardia too slow).


If several medications are taken at the same time, they can influence each other's effects.

The following active ingredients increase the side effects of azithromycin when used concomitantly:

  • Ergot alkaloids (for migraine, circulatory disorders, hypertension and Parkinson's disease)
  • Astemizole (in case of allergies)
  • Alfentanil (for pain relief during surgery)

Azithromycin increases the effects of the following drugs:

  • Digoxin (for cardiac dysfunction)

pregnancy and breast feeding period

The experience of using azithromycin during pregnancy is high. It has been shown that the drug has no harmful effects on the unborn child. Therefore, azithromycin may be used during pregnancy and lactation.

Better proven alternatives are penicillin and clarithromycin.

Driving and using machines

The reactivity is not affected by the intake of azithromycin. However, it can cause side effects such as dizziness and convulsions. Therefore, at the beginning of the treatment, the individual response to the drug should be awaited before the patient actively participates in the traffic.

Experts recommend avoiding alcohol while taking azithromycin.

How to get medicines with azithromycin

Antibacterial agents should generally only be used after a clear diagnosis. Therefore, azithromycin is only available with a prescription from the doctor in the pharmacy.

Like This? Share With Friends: