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Zithromax Generic (Azithromycin)

Reviewed by Peggy Coryat, RPh, October 24, 2023

Mechanism of Action    Genuine Product    Side Effects    About Azithromycin    Correct Dosage    Price    Interactions

Azithromycin was first synthesized by a team of researchers at the pharmaceutical company Pliva led by Dr. S. Dokic in 1980. In Eastern Europe, the drug began to be sold under the name Sumamed. Pfizer received a license to bring the drug to the market in Western Europe and the United States under the name Zithromax. It became one of the best-selling antibiotics that brought royalty payments from Pfizer and became Pliva’s main income until the patent expired in 2005.

Zithromax is an antibiotic used to treat respiratory, skin, and some other infections, as well as infectious diseases of soft tissues, especially if the disease is caused by the pathogen Chlamydia trachomatis.

Today, azithromycin-based drugs are available on the market in tablet form, in the form of capsules, powder for the preparation of suspensions, and also for the preparation of solutions for infusions. This antibiotic is also used for veterinary purposes.

Before determining if the medication is for you, you should know what it is prescribed for. You might be able to use it in the following cases:

  • Ear, nose, and throat infections;
  • Respiratory tract infections, including bacterial bronchitis and pneumonia;
  • Skin and soft tissue infections;
  • Sexually transmitted infections.

Your doctor will be able to give you a full list of specific health issues that Zithromax can help with. Even if this particular medication can deal with your problem, it might still be not suitable for you. Why? It is worth keeping in mind the contraindications and other medications that you might be taking. Let’s consider the contraindications:

  • severe liver and/or kidney failure;
  • breast-feeding;
  • simultaneous use with ergotamine and dihydroergotamine;
  • hypersensitivity to macrolide antibiotics.

How Does It Work?

A member of the azalide family of antibiotics, Zithromax has a somewhat wide spectrum of action and is useful in treating a number of illnesses in both human and veterinary medicine. The medication works by inhibiting microbial cells’ ability to synthesize proteins. Bacterial growth and reproduction are slowed down as a result. Given that the medication can pass through plasma membranes, it can effectively combat intracellular germs.

Steps to Confirm You’re Getting Authentic Zithromax

Although it is unlikely that you will encounter a counterfeit Zithromax in Canadian pharmacies, it is still worth knowing how to avoid it. Check that the package contains all the required elements: name of the medicine, series, expiration date, barcode and QR code or Data Matrix (they are very similar, the difference is most often in size and shape). The absence of any of them should be alarming.

The expiration date on the box and the blister or bottle must match. You should also read the instructions as they indicate what the medicine should look like. Zithromax are white to off-white, unscored, modified capsule-shaped tablets, engraved with “Pfizer” on one side and “ZTM 500” (or another dosage) on the other side.

You can also go to the websites of regulatory authorities. All current and complete information about drugs that can be sold in Canada is available on the federal database. You can check the drug you are interested in before paying at the checkout and when purchasing online.

Adverse Effects

Besides healing your condition, Zithromax may lead to:

  • loose stools or constipation,
  • nausea and vomiting,
  • stomach pain,
  • dizziness,
  • fatigue,
  • headache,
  • vaginal itching or abnormal discharge,
  • nervousness,
  • sleep problems,
  • skin rash or itching,
  • ringing in the ears and/or hearing problems,
  • worsened taste or smell.

Considering the likelihood of developing side effects from the central nervous system, caution should be exercised when driving vehicles and operating machinery.

What is Azithromycin?

Azithromycin dihydrate, in a dosage specified on the pill, is the main component of Zithromax. They also contain inactive components that give the pill volume and help the active component to be digested. The oral suspension is supplied in a single-dose package containing the same active component in the appropriate dosage. It also contains other inactive components, including flavor and sucrose.


Azithromycin is taken once a day, always one hour before or two hours after meals. Azithromycin powder is dissolved in water according to the instructions. You need to shake it well before use and take it once orally.

A typical dosage for adults, including elderly people, and children over 12 years of age weighing over 45 kg would be 500 mg. It is typically taken only for 3 days, which is a great advantage when it comes to getting well and doing it as fast as possible.

If you miss a dose of an antibiotic, the missed dose should be taken as soon as possible, and subsequent doses should be taken as soon as possible at intervals of 24 hours.

Generic Zithromax Price

There are two options when it comes to purchasing generic Zithromax. First of all, you can choose the brand name medication, but it will cost you a little more. For instance, 30 tablets with a 250mg dosage can be purchased for around $150. If you need a higher dosage, the 500mg pill will cost just a bit more. Luckily, most people do not need a 30-tablet pack, so the price will be lower. However, you can save even more if you go the generics route. Thirty tablets with a dosage of 250mg will cost just around $55.

Interactions with other medications

Medical specialists should administer Zithromax with caution to patients who simultaneously take medications that prolong the QT interval.

When taken simultaneously with other medications, you should keep in mind the following consequences.

  • Antacids reduce the concentration of the drug in the blood. Therefore, there should be 1 hour before or 2 hours after the intake of antacids. Fluconazole causes the same reaction. Meanwhile, Nelfinavir leads to a higher concentration.
  • The active substance increases the absorption of Digoxin in the intestine.
  • Cases of rhabdomyolysis have been reported with simultaneous use of Azithromycin and statins. At the same time, it did not lead to changes in the concentration of Atorvastatin in the blood.
  • Macrolide antibiotics inhibit the CYP34A enzyme, which metabolizes Cisapride in the liver. In this regard, the combined use may provoke a change in the QT interval, as well as cause ventricular arrhythmia or torsades de pointes.
  • When used simultaneously with Zithromax, a significant increase in the cMax of Cyclosporine in the blood was detected. In this regard, caution should be exercised when using these drugs simultaneously. If combination treatment is necessary, it is necessary to adjust the dosage of Cyclosporine.
  • Azithromycin does not affect the anticoagulant effect of Warfarin. However, in the post-marketing period, cases of increased bleeding tendency have been reported.
  • Combined with Ergotamine and Hydroergotamine, macrolides can cause toxic effects.

Please keep in mind that this is not the full description of the product, so some of the minor details could have been left out. Even though we try to provide you with accurate information, we cannot guarantee that this product will be suitable for you. Under no circumstances should this information be used instead of professional medical consultation. Speaking to your doctor is vital for getting an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.