azithromycin, Zithromax, Zmax

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Medical and Pharmacy Editor:

GENERIC NAME: azithromycin

BRAND NAME: Zithromax, Zmax

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Azithromycin is a semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic chemically related to erythromycin and clarithromycin (Biaxin). It is effective against a wide variety of bacteria such as Hemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, mycobacterium avium, and many others. Azithromycin, like all macrolide antibiotics, prevents bacteria from growing by interfering with their ability to make proteins. Due to the differences in the way proteins are made in bacteria and humans, the macrolide antibiotics do not interfere with production of proteins in humans. It is an unusual antibiotic in that it stays in the body for quite a while (has a long half-life), allowing for once a day dosing and for shorter treatment courses for most infections. The FDA approved azithromycin in November 1991.

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

PREPARATIONS:

  • Tablets: 250, 500, and 600 mg.
  • Suspension: 100 mg/5 ml (teaspoon), 200 mg/5 ml (teaspoon).
  • Powder for suspension (extended release): 2 g.
  • Powder for oral suspension: 1 g.
  • Powder for Injection: 500 mg.
  • Z-PAK (Blister pack containing six 250 mg tablets);
  • TRI-PAK (Blister pack containing three 500 mg tablets).



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