Azithromycin and coronavirus


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Eugene Gu to his nearly , followers on Twitter. James DiNicolantonio , a cardiovascular research scientist and doctor of pharmacy based in Kansas City, Missouri. But DiNicolantonio and other physicians warn that the drug cocktail could be lethal for patients with underlying heart conditions. And, in the hands of children, even small doses may be lethal. Furthermore, the mad rush to get hold of these drugs is causing significant shortages among pharmacies and drug manufacturers , which may put lives at risk, particularly in those who rely on these drugs to treat life-threatening conditions, such as lupus.

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This story has been shared , times. Would you like to receive desktop browser notifications about breaking news and other major stories? Not Now Yes Please. View author archive Get author RSS feed. Name required. Email required. Back to Medicines A to Z. It's widely used to treat chest infections such as pneumonia , infections of the nose and throat such as sinus infection sinusitis , skin infections, Lyme disease , and some sexually transmitted infections. Azithromycin is used in children, often to treat ear infections or chest infections. The medicine is available on prescription as capsules, tablets and a liquid that you drink.

It can also be given by injection, but this is usually only done in hospital. It isn't suitable for some people. To make sure azithromycin is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have :. Azithromycin is usually taken once a day, unless you're having it by injection. Try to take your medicine at the same time each day.

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Azithromycin is sometimes prescribed long term to prevent chest infections if you keep getting them. In this case, it's usually taken 3 times a week, often on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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Carry on taking this medicine until the course is completed, even if you feel better. If you stop your treatment early, your infection could come back. If your doctor has prescribed azithromycin capsules, you should take them at least 1 hour before food or 2 hours after eating. Azithromycin liquid is available for children and people who find it difficult to swallow tablets.

If you or your child are taking azithromycin as a liquid, it'll usually be made up for you by your pharmacist. The medicine will come with a syringe or spoon to help you measure the right amount. If you don't have one, ask your pharmacist for one.

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Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount. The liquid can have a bitter aftertaste, so it can be a good idea to offer children a drink of fruit juice afterwards. If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it's nearly time for your next one. In this case, just leave out the missed dose and take your next dose as normal. If you often forget doses, it may help to set an alarm to remind you.

You could also ask your pharmacist for other ways to remember your medicine. Taking an extra dose of azithromycin by accident is unlikely to harm you or your child. It may, however, increase the chance of temporary side effects, such as feeling or being sick or diarrhoea. Talk to your pharmacist or doctor if you're worried, or if you or your child accidentally take more than 1 extra dose.

These common side effects of azithromycin happen in more than 1 in people. Keep taking the medicine, but talk to your doctor or pharmacist if these side effects bother you or don't go away:. In rare cases it's possible to have a serious allergic reaction anaphylaxis to azithromycin. These aren't all the side effects of azithromycin.

For a full list, see the leaflet inside your medicine packet. You can report any suspected side effect to the UK safety scheme. Azithromycin isn't normally recommended during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

But your doctor may prescribe it if the benefits of taking azithromycin are greater than the risks. Tell your doctor if you're taking these medicines before you start azithromycin:. You should also let your doctor know if you're taking any medicines for an irregular heartbeat arrhythmia , such as amiodarone or sotalol. Azithromycin can sometimes affect your heartbeat, so it's best not to take it with other medicines that have the same side effect.

For this reason, it's important that you tell your doctor if you're taking medicines that can affect your heartbeat as a side effect. Check the leaflets that come with your medicines and talk to a pharmacist or your doctor if you have any worries. For safety, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you're taking any other medicines, including herbal remedies, vitamins or supplements. Azithromycin is from a group of medicines called macrolide antibiotics. Macrolide antibiotics work by killing the bacteria that cause the infection.

There are other macrolide antibiotics that work in the same way as azithromycin. They include erythromycin and clarithromycin. It's usual to take azithromycin once a day. For erythromycin, it's usually 4 times a day, and twice a day for clarithromycin.

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All macrolides can be used to treat chest and skin infections. Azithromycin and erythromycin can also be used to treat sexually transmitted infections. Clarithromycin can also be used to treat Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers. Azithromycin and other macrolide antibiotics kill similar types of bacteria to penicillin antibiotics, such as amoxicillin.

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Some people are allergic to penicillin antibiotics - they can take macrolides like azithromycin instead. Tell your doctor if you don't start feeling better after taking azithromycin for 3 days. Also tell them if, at any time, you start to feel worse. Some people get a fungal infection called thrush after taking a course of antibiotics like azithromycin. Antibiotics kill the normal harmless bacteria that help to protect you against thrush. Azithromycin doesn't stop contraceptive pills, including the combined pill and emergency contraception.

But if azithromycin makes you vomit or have severe diarrhoea 6 to 8 watery poos in 24 hours for more than 24 hours, your contraceptive pills may not protect you from pregnancy. Look on the pill packet to find out what to do. Read more about what to do if you're on the pill and you're being sick or have diarrhoea.

There's no firm evidence to suggest that taking azithromycin will reduce fertility in either men or women. Azithromycin can cause dizziness. If you're affected by it, do not drive, ride a bike or operate machinery. Page last reviewed: 6 December Next review due: 6 December

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