Drug Interactions: Unlike erythromycin and clarithromycin, azithromycin is generally considered free of interactions with most other medicines. It is recommended that azithromycin not be taken at the same time as aluminum- or magnesium- based antacids, such as Mylanta or Maalox because antacids will bind the azithromycin and prevent it from being absorbed from the intestine.
Drug Class: Azithromycin is a semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic chemically related to erythromycin and clarithromycin (Biaxin). It is effective against a wide variety of bacteria organisms, such as Hemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, and mycobacterium avium, and many others. It is unusual in that it stays in the body for quite a while, allowing for once a day dosing and for shorter treatment courses for most infections. Azithromycin, like all macrolide antibiotics, prevents bacteria from growing by interfering with their ability to make proteins.
Pregnancy: Studies in animals suggest no important effects on the fetus. Azithromycin therefore can be used in pregnancy if the physician feels that it is clearly necessary.
Nursing Mothers: It is not known if azithromycin is secreted in breast milk.
Side Effects: Azithromycin is generally well tolerated. The most common side effects are diarrhea or loose stools, nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting, each of which may occur in fewer than one in twenty animals who receive azithromycin.
Storage: Capsules should be kept below 30°C (86°F). Suspension should be kept between 5° and 30°C (41° and 86°F).