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Azithromycin 500mg tablets are an antibiotic medication used to treat the Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Chlamydia. They are usually given as a 3-day antibiotic course to get rid of chlamydia quickly and safely.
Chlamydia is a bacterial STI. It’s one of the most common STIs in the UK and it’s typically transmitted through unprotected sex. This includes unprotected vaginal, oral and anal sex, as well as sharing sex toys that have come into contact with infected genital fluids.
Read our Chlamydia page to find out more about this infection.
Chlamydia is often called ‘the silent STI’ because it doesn’t always show any symptoms.
If you do experience Chlamydia symptoms, they’ll likely present as the following –
A burning sensation when passing urine
White, cloudy or watery discharge from the tip of the penis
Burning or itching sensations in the urethra
Pain and swelling in the testicles
A burning sensation when passing urine
Abnormal vaginal discharge
Bleeding between periods or during sex
If Chlamydia is left untreated, sufferers may develop complications. In men this may present as inflammation of the testicles (Epididymitis) and Reactive Arthritis, while in women it can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), pregnancy complications and infertility.
For more information on spotting Chlamydia symptoms, check out our expert article ‘Chlamydia: The Silent STI’.
Azithromycin belongs to the class of medicines called Macrolide Antibiotics. They’re used to treat bacterial infections, including Chlamydia. Azithromycin tablets kill the bacteria responsible for the Chlamydia infection.
If you have been prescribed Azithromycin 500mg tablets to treat Chlamydia, you usually be instructed to take the medication as a 3 day course. You will take TWO tablets (1000mg total) on the first day, followed by ONE a day for the next 2 days. The tablets can be taken with or without food, and it’s recommended to take them with water. If you have forgotten to take a dose, you should not double dose to make up for it.
Do not have sex until you’ve completed the full course of treatment. If the Azithromycin 500mg tablets are not taken as prescribed over the three days, the infection may return. Always consult your Pharmacist or Prescriber if you are unsure how to take your Azithromycin 500mg antibiotic tablets.
Yes, when taken as prescribed and with proper precautions taken, Azithromycin 500mg tablets are usually very safe. You should not take Azithromycin 500mg if you:
Are allergic to any of the ingredients within the tablets
Have severe liver or kidney problems
Have severe heart problems
Have low blood levels of potassium or magnesium
Have a form of muscle weakness called Myasthenia Gravis
Have a neurological disease
If you have any other conditions or are on a course of other medication, always double check with your Pharmacist or Prescriber that Azithromycin 500mg Tablets are safe for you to take.
Yes, Azithromycin tablets can interact with other medication. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Azithromycin if you are taking or have recently taken the following medication:
Cholesterol Lowering Medications (Statins)
Zidovudine / Nelfinavir
Your prescriber will have to monitor your course of treatment and may change your dosage if you are taking Cyclosporin.
You should take Azithromycin at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking an Antacid medication.
Other medications can also interact, be sure to let your Prescriber know what you are taking before you start any Azithromycin course.
As with any course of medication, it’s possible to experience side effects from Azithromycin. These may include:
Lack of appetite
Pins and needles
Sensations of numbness
If you are prescribed Azithromycin 500mg, you should receive a Azithromycin Patient Information Leaflet outlining more possible side effects as well as further warnings and precautions.
Alcohol can worsen the side effects experienced on this medication.
Yes, there are other anti-biotic medications available to treat Chlamydia. These include Doxycycline capsules, which are taken twice every day over a course of 7 days.
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