Azithromycin, also known as Zithromax, is an FDA-approved drug used to treat strep throat, respiratory illnesses, skin infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and other bacterial infections. Z-pack is also used in the early treatment of Covid 19.
Azithromycin is the generic name, while brand names include Zithromax Z-pak and Zmax.
Z-Pack Uses and Effectiveness
Doctors mainly prescribe antibiotics like Zithromax to treat strong bacterial infections. Azithromycin is an oral drug you can take with or without food. Dosage and effectiveness depend on the medical condition and its severity.
Here are the most common uses of azithromycin:
Treating Common Cold and Flu With Azithromycin
Flu and cold are very common medical conditions. They are both caused by viral infections. Flu is caused by influenza, while the rhinovirus causes the common cold.
Since each of these diseases is a viral infection, Zithromax, an antibiotic, is not very effective against them.
Using Z-Pak to Treat Bronchitis and Pneumonia
Sometimes what appears like severe flu or common cold symptoms could be signs of bronchitis or community-acquired pneumonia. This is one of the primary reasons why diagnosis by a healthcare professional is important.
A doctor might prescribe antibiotics to treat pneumonia and bronchitis because they are both caused by a bacterial infection in the lungs. Zithromax is one of the most effective antibiotics against both diseases.
In 2021, a few studies recommended azithromycin for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of coronavirus disease. Its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties were found to be ideal for the early treatment of the illness.
However, since there were no universal criteria to test its effectiveness in these tests, the drug hasn’t been approved by the FDA for the treatment of viral diseases like covid 19.
Using Zithromax Z-Pak to Treat Strep Throat
Zithromax is effective against strep throat because it’s a bacterial infection. Interestingly, Z-pak is not most doctors’ first choice when treating strep throat.
They often start with other drugs like penicillin and amoxicillin. However, if the patient is allergic to these drugs, they might resort to Zithromax.
Other Infectious Diseases
The National Library of Medicine and other medical journals suggest that azithromycin, the active ingredient in Z-pak, can be used to treat infections such as:
- Ear infections.
- Certain bacterial infections like cervicitis and bacterial sinusitis.
- Genital ulcer disease.
- Some skin infections.
Before You Use Zithromax
Before taking Zithromax Z-pak, ensure you read the instructions on the patient information leaflet, prescription label, and any other drug information it comes with.
Do not use Zithromax if:
- You’ve had liver problems caused by azithromycin.
- You have a serious allergic reaction to drugs like erythromycin, clarithromycin, and telithromycin.
The drug should also not be used to treat pneumonia in people with:
- A blood infection.
- Cystic fibrosis.
- An infection caused by hospitalization.
- A weak immune system such as in cancer and HIV/AIDs.
- Elderly patients and those who are debilitated.
You should also tell your doctor if you’ve had:
- Kidney or liver disease.
- Low potassium levels in your blood.
- Prolonged qt interval (in you or a relative.)
It’s also important to tell your doctor if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant. Taking Zithromax Z-pak while breastfeeding could cause complications like diarrhea and vomiting in the infant.
Zithromax is also not approved for use by infants younger than 6 months old. It should also not be used to treat a tonsil or throat infection in children younger than 2 years old.
How to Use Zithromax Z-Pak
Since Z-pack is an antibiotic, it’s important to follow all the instructions to avoid adverse effects. It’s also essential to get a prescription from a healthcare professional instead of self-diagnosis and buying the drug over the counter.
Zithromax oral is usually taken by mouth with or without food. You should also take the complete dose prescribed, even when you start feeling better.
For best effect, develop a regular dosing schedule as missing a dose leads to an increased risk of developing antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
What Happens if You Miss a Dose of Zithromax?
If you miss a dose of Z-pack, take the medicine as soon as possible, but skip the missed dose if it’s almost time for the next dose. Don’t take two doses to compensate.
What if You Overdose on Zithromax?
If you take more than the prescribed dose of Zithromax, call your doctor immediately or use the Poison helpline.
Zithromax Side Effects
If misused, Zithromax can cause serious side effects like swollen glands, potentially fatal heart rhythms, and even sudden death. Seek medical attention immediately if you notice severe symptoms like a slow heartbeat, dark urine, and sudden dizziness.
Elderly patients might also experience side effects like life-threatening fast heart rates. As a result, Zithromax should only be used by older adults under strict prescription.
Common Zithromax side effects may include:
- Stomach pain.
- Muscle aches.
- Vomiting or nausea.
- Irregular heartbeat.
Zithromax Drug Interactions
A wide range of drugs interacts with Zithromax Z-pak. Tell your doctor if you’re using:
- An anti-acid that contains magnesium or aluminum.
What’s the Best Alternative for Zithromax Z-Pak?
Amoxicillin is the most popular antibiotic alternative for Zithromax. However, some patients are allergic to the drug and have to use Z-pack. Other patients also opt for compound Zithromax.
Compound medication is an individualized form of treatment that creates customized versions of commercially available drugs. Compound Zithromax is just as effective as commercially available Z-pak but with fewer side effects.
Need Customized Zithromax? Try FW Pharmacy
Z-pak is an effective treatment for most bacterial infections. However, some of its side effects make it almost unbearable to use.
FW pharmacy has a wealth of experience in compounding antibiotics, including Zithromax. Talk to our pharmacists today to learn how compound medication can help you recover from bacterial infections.