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What is Azithromycin?

Azithromycin is an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by bacteria. It is usually taken orally as a tablet.

It is commonly used to treat STIs, including:

It is also used to treat other bacterial infections, such as:

  • skin infections
  • chest infections like pneumonia
  • Lyme disease
  • ear, nose, and throat infections

Azithromycin might be prescribed to you as an alternative if you are allergic to penicillin.

How does it work?

Azithromycin works by stopping the spread of bacteria in the body.

By stopping the bacteria from making a certain protein that they need to reproduce, they can’t grow and multiply.

This gives your body’s immune system the chance to fight off the infection and kill off all the infection-causing bacteria.

How effective is it?

12 different clinical trials investigated the use of Azithromycin in the treatment of chlamydia. The results showed the drug to be highly effective at curing the condition:

97 out of 100 people with chlamydia were cured by taking Azithromycin

How do I take it?

Azithromycin is taken orally in tablet form. The tablets:

  • should be taken at least 2 hours before a meal or 1 hour after
  • should be swallowed with a glass of water
  • should not be crushed or chewed

The dose and length of your treatment depend on what infection you have. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and take the medication exactly as it is prescribed.

You may notice your symptoms begin to clear after a few days of treatment. Whilst this does mean the medication is working, it doesn’t mean that you are cured.

Always complete the entire course of antibiotics that has been prescribed to you. By finishing the treatment too early, your infection could return or you might increase the risk of antibiotic resistance.

How do I take it for mycoplasma genitalium?

To treat mycoplasma genitalium (MGen), the most effective course of treatment involves taking both Azithromycin and Doxycycline.

Visit our MGen treatment pack page for a full set of instructions on how to take both antibiotics for this condition.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take the medicine as soon as you remember. If your missed dose is too close to your next dose, just wait until your next dose.

You should never make up for a missed dose by taking a double dose.

Who can take it?

Most adults and children can safely take Azithromycin.

However, you might not be suitable for this treatment if you have:

  • had any type of allergic reaction to Azithromycin or any of its ingredients
  • kidney or liver problems
  • heart problems or failure
  • diabetes
  • myasthenia gravis (a muscle-weakening condition)

Always make sure to read the ingredients label before beginning treatment. Some types of Azithromycin contain soya oil which could trigger an allergic reaction for those with soya allergies.

What are the precautions?

During your consultation, make sure to tell your doctor about any other medication you are taking. This includes any:

  • prescription drugs
  • over-the-counter drugs
  • recreational drugs
  • vitamins and herbal supplements

This is because some drugs can stop Azithromycin from working properly, or could cause unnecessary side effects.

Do not start this treatment if you are taking any of the following:

  • anticoagulants such as Warfarin
  • indigestion medications such as antacids
  • digoxin (used for heart problems)
  • ciclosporin or tacrolimus (used to treat the immune system)
  • rifabutin, or other antibiotics
  • nelfinavir (an HIV medication)
  • Statin medications (for lowering blood pressure)

Azithromycin and alcohol

You can drink alcohol while on this treatment, but it is not advised.

Drinking alcohol on antibiotics is likely to slow down your overall recovery time and possibly cause side effects such as nausea or stomach upset.

What are the side effects?

As is the case with all medications, there is a chance you will experience some side effects whilst taking Azithromycin.

Usually, these are mild symptoms that go away once you’ve finished the course of antibiotics. The table below shows the most common side effects:

Common side effects:
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • reduced appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • headaches
  • abdominal pain

If these symptoms persist or worsen, consult your doctor or healthcare provider.

Azithromycin has been associated with rare cases of serious heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias). Tell your doctor right away if you experience chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, or fainting.

Can I buy Azithromycin online?

Yes, you can buy Azithromycin online here at euroClinix. We offer it for the treatment of chlamydia and some other common STIs.

We also offer a treatment pack for mycoplasma genitalium, which contains both Azithromycin and Doxycycline.

Looking for MGen treatment?

Start your consultation

Simply fill out our online consultation form which will be reviewed by one of our UK doctors.

If you are approved for treatment, we will dispense your medication and send it directly to your door with free next-day delivery.

Note: You must complete a short online consultation so that our doctor can ensure that the treatment is suitable for you. The above pricing should only be used as a reference. The final decision to issue this treatment lies with the prescribing doctor.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Caroline Fontana Written by our editorial team
Last reviewed 24-05-2023
Azithromycin information
Product nameAzithromycin
Active ingredient(s)Azithromycin
Trustpilot rating4.5/5
Trustpilot reviews151
AvailabilityOut of stock
DescriptionAzithromycin is an antibiotic used in the treatment of genital infections like chlamydia, gonorrhoea and ureaplasma (when combined with cefixime)
ExemptionSubject to medical prescription
Available dosage250mg and 500mg
ApplicationMen and women over 18 with a bacterial infection
UsageTake 2 tablets together as a single dose
Drug classMacrolide antibiotics
Alcohol consumptionNo influence
When breastfeedingSide effects not expected, however ask your doctor
When pregnantNot expected, however ask your doctor
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