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Azithromycin: A popular antibiotic for treating respiratory tract infection

Azithromycin: A popular antibiotic for treating respiratory tract infection
Published : Jan 12, 2023
Last Updated : Feb 06, 2024

Azithromycin is considered an effective and common antibiotic that fights against the harmful bacteria present in your body.

 Doctors often recommend this medicine for treating respiratory infections and other infections of the ear, skin, and eye.

It belongs to a class of drugs known as macrolide antibiotics and works by averting the growth of bacteria.

Keep one thing in mind, this antibiotic is only recommended for treating bacterial infections and viral infections like cold & flu.

What is an upper respiratory tract infection?

Respiratory tract infections are the infections of parts of your body involved in breathing like the sinus, throat & airways.

Upper respiratory tract infection is very common among people and usually happens during the fall and winter seasons.

Some of the common symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection include:

You must know that upper respiratory infection is contagious and might spread from person to person.

Just by inhaling respiratory droplets from coughing or sneezing, you can suffer from an upper respiratory infection.

The transmission of this infection happens by touching the nose or mouth by hand or other objects which are exposed to the virus.

Most respiratory tract infections get better without treatment but sometimes you require medicines like Azithromycin.

Does azithromycin treat respiratory infection?

Acute lower respiratory tract infections range right from acute bronchitis to pneumonia.

A number of people die every year from acute respiratory tract infections.

Among all respiratory infections, pneumonia is the most common infection among people.

Azithromycin or Azee 500mg is a macrolide antibiotic that is modified from erythromycin structurally.

It is well-known for its activity against some gram-negative organisms linked with respiratory tract infections.

How long does Azithromycin take to work in treating the condition of respiratory infection?

This antibiotic takes almost 5 days to work completely but begins to relieve the symptoms in just 1-2 days only.

In case, the doctor recommends a generic version of azithromycin then the treatment might last for 3 days only.

Although, most patients suffering from upper respiratory infection are treated within 2-7 days with azithromycin.

What is the dosage of azithromycin for upper respiratory infection?

Azithromycin is an azalide macrolide antibiotic that is effective in treating upper respiratory infections.

This medication is effective against most common upper respiratory bacterial pathogens including:

  • Group A streptococci
  • S. pneumonia
  • H. influenzae
  • M. catarrhalis

Depending upon your age and the type of respiratory infection, the dosage of this medicine is recommended by the doctors.

Doctors usually prescribe this antibiotic for 3 days to assure better patient compliance.

In this way, the possibility of the development of bacterial resistance is decreased.

Which antibiotic is considered strongest for treating upper respiratory infection?

It is important to know that amoxicillin is the most preferred treatment in patients suffering from acute bacterial rhinosinusitis.

Remember short-course antibiotic therapy is as effective as a long-course treatment in patients suffering from acute & uncomplicated bacterial rhinosinusitis.

Azithromycin or amoxicillin, which antibiotic is effective for upper respiratory infection?

It is yet not clear whether azithromycin is superior to amoxicillin when it comes to treating acute lower respiratory infections.

Azithromycin is effective in patients suffering from acute bronchitis of a suspected bacterial cause.

This antibiotic helps in lowering the chance of clinical failure when compared to Amoxycillin or amoxiclav.

How long does azithromycin take to treat bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes which is responsible for carrying air to and from the lungs.

When you suffer from bronchitis, you often have to cough up thickened mucus which is usually discolored.

Keep one thing in your mind, bronchitis can be either chronic or acute.

This antibiotic can take time of three to seven days in order to treat your condition bronchitis.

However, you might experience improvement in the symptoms after 1-2 days.

Precautions you need to take before using Azithromycin

In order to experience the high effectiveness of this antibiotic, you must consider a few precautions beforehand.

This medicine should not be used strictly, if you are allergic to it or:

You have suffered from jaundice or liver disorders caused by the consumption of azithromycin.

You are allergic to some medications like clarithromycin, erythromycin, or telithromycin.

To assure azithromycin is safe for you, inform the doctor about your medical history including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Liver disorder
  • A heart rhythm problem
  • Long QT syndrome
  • Low levels of potassium in the blood

In case, you take antacids then make sure to maintain a gap between the dose of antacids and azithromycin.

It is vital to consult the doctor once about how many hours before or after you can take this antibiotic.

Inform the doctor, if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding your baby.

Call the doctor immediately, if you become pregnant while taking the azithromycin pill.

Avoid the consumption of other medications that can lead to QT prolongation or irregular heart rhythm.

Do not recommend this antibiotic to another person, even if he/she suffers from the same symptoms as yours.

Without the recommendation of the doctor, you must not increase or decrease the dosage of the pill.

Increasing the dose can cause serious side effects instead of treating your respiratory tract infection.

Does Azithromycin also cause side effects?

Yes, just like other antibiotics, you can also experience a few side effects after taking Azithromycin.

However, if you follow the doctor’s direction strictly then your chance of suffering from side effects is decreased.

Meet the doctor immediately, if you experience signs of an allergic reaction to this antibiotic like hives, flushing, etc.

Some of the common side effects of Azithromycin tablet include:

  • Symptoms of liver problem
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fast heartbeats
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

It might be possible that you experience other side effects as well because this is not the complete list of side effects.

So, if you suffer from a respiratory infection next time then take Azithromycin after consulting the doctor.