Azithromycin is part of a class of drugs called macrolides. It decreases bacteria's ability to make protein and affects peptide activity, both of which the bacterium needs to live.
By affecting the protein and peptides of bacteria, azithromycin helps to stop bacteria from continuing to live and cause infection in the body.
Some general considerations for when and how to take azithromycin include:
- It comes as a tablet or liquid suspension and is usually taken once daily, depending on your healthcare provider's instructions.
- It can be taken with or without food.
- Drink a full glass of water with each dose.
- It should be taken at the same time each day to maintain an even level of the medicine in your system.
- For azithromycin to work properly, you have to take it as prescribed. Make sure that you complete your entire prescription of it, even if you start feeling better. This will ensure that the infection is completely treated.
- Never take outdated azithromycin. Taking any outdated medication may cause serious problems because the intended effects often change after expiration.
There are specific dietary restrictions with one type of azithromycin. The immediate-release suspension and tablet may be taken with or without food. If you suffer from an upset stomach while taking either of these forms of azithromycin, try taking them with food or milk.
Azithromycin extended-release suspension (Zmax™), however, works the best if taken either one hour before you eat or two hours after you have eaten. If extended-release azithromycin is taken too close to meals, azithromycin will not be absorbed as well and may not produce maximal effects.