Azithromycin 500mg

Buy Azithromycin for travel

Azithromycin in our travel pack is used to treat most bacterial causes of travellers' diarrhoea. Although it can also be used to treat other bacterial infections such as chest, throat or nasal infections and ear infections, it should only be used under medical supervision. Please remember that it is always best to be examined by a doctor to ascertain if you need to take this antibiotic. There may be more targeted antibiotics available for your need. Taking Azithromycin when you don't need to contributes to antibiotic resistance, a global health problem.

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  • Travel pack contains three Azithromycin 500mg tablets
  • Belongs to a group of medicines called macrolide antibiotics
  • Used to treat bacterial causes of travellers' diarrhoea
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Description

Azithromycin is a type of medicine called macrolide antibiotic. The active ingredient is azithromycin dihydrate. It is used to treat travellers' diarrhoea.

Suitability

Azithromycin is not suitable if you are allergic to azithromycin dihydrate or any other macrolide antibiotic such as erythromycin or clarithromycin or to any of the other ingredients of this medicine listed in the patient information leaflet.

Important Interactions

You must tell your doctor if you are taking, have recently taken or might take other medicines, in particular:

  • antacids - used for heartburn and indigestion
  • ergotamine - used for migraine, should not be taken at the same time as serious side effects may develop (with numbness or tingling sensations in the limbs, muscle cramps, headaches, convulsions, abdominal or chest pain)
  • warfarin or similar medicines - used to thin the blood, as Azithromycin can thin the blood even more
  • terfenadine - used to treat hay fever or skin allergy, should not be taken at the same time as this may cause severe heart problems (shown on an ECG)
  • quinidine - used to treat heart rhythm problems
  • digoxin - used to treat cardiac impairment, as Azithromycin can make the effects of this stronger
Side Effects
  • abdominal pain
  • feeling sick (nausea)
  • vomiting
  • wind (flatulence)
  • diarrhoea
  • lack of appetite (anorexia)
  • feeling dizzy
  • headache
  • skin reactions

Get urgent medical help if you experience any of the following:

  • swelling of the face, lips, tongue, throat, hands, feet or genitals
  • blistering of the skin, mouth, eyes and genitals
Please Note

All medication can cause side effects. We have only listed a few to be aware of. Details of all side effects, including rare side effects to be aware of, are listed in the patient information leaflet (PIL). When completing your medical questionnaire, it is very important that you answer the questions truthfully. This is to ensure your doctor has a full picture of your medical history before prescribing. List all medicines you are already taking, including non-prescription and herbal medicines.

Looking after your medicine

Do not take medicines after the expiry date stamped on the pack. Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.

Medicines are only intended to be used by the person they are prescribed for. Do not give your prescribed medicine to anybody else, even if they have the same symptoms as you. Medicines can be harmful if used by anybody other than the person they have been prescribed for.

References Azithromycin 500mg Patient Information Leaflet
British National Formulary: azithromycin

Azithromycin is a prescription only medicine in the UK, which means that you cannot buy it over the counter without a prescription. You may find Azithromycin available over the counter in other countries, but we do not recommend this as you could be buying counterfeit medicine. It is better to be prepared and carry a travel pack with prescription medicines.

Azithromycin is the preferred antibiotic to treat severe travellers' diarrhoea. Ciprofloxacin and other fluoroquinolone and quinolone antibiotics are no longer recommended due to the risk of long-lasting side effects. Please see our travellers’ diarrhoea page for more information.

Whilst Azithromycin will treat most bacterial causes of travellers’ diarrhoea, it is also important to look after yourself and to manage your symptoms. This includes drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and caffeine and sticking to bland foods until your symptoms improve. The ‘BRAT’ diet is also useful, as it contains foods that can bulk out your stools and therefore have a binding effect to slow down your digestive system. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. All are starchy and low fibre foods that can improve symptoms of diarrhoea.

You should start to feel better after 1-2 days of taking Azithromycin. You may want to use other medicines to treat the symptoms of travellers’ diarrhoea until the antibiotic kills the bacterial infection. The travel pack also includes loperamide (also known as Imodium™) and Dioralyte™ oral powder to help replace salts and water lost during episodes of diarrhoea.

Unfortunately, Azithromycin is not able to select only the bad bacteria in your gut and will also kill some of your healthy gut bacteria. That is why is it important to only take antibiotics when necessary. You can also support your gut by replacing the good bacteria after you have treated your travellers’ diarrhoea. Do this by eating products high in probiotic bacteria, such as probiotic yoghurt containing live good bacteria.

Azithromycin is no longer used to treat chlamydia infections and doxycycline is now the recommended antibiotic for chlamydia infections. Please see our chlamydia treatment page for more information.

Last Reviewed  28/05/2020   Authored  25/02/2011

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