Azithromycin (Chlamydia Treatment)
Azithromycin is an antibiotic drug commonly prescribed to treat chlamydia infections.
IMPORTANT: The guidance for use of Azithromycin has recently changed from a single dose to a 3 day course of treatment due to cases of chlamydia resistance. The new recommended guidelines for treatment follow a routine in which TWO tablets are taken on the first day, followed by ONE a day for the next 2 days. Please make sure you take the whole course as recommended to ensure its effective.
Here at e-Surgery we strongly believe in responsible antibiotic prescribing and our doctors will only issue one course per patient.
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Read upWhat is Azithromycin? What is Chlamydia? What are the symptoms of Chlamydia in men? What are the symptoms of Chlamydia in women? How do you get tested for Chlamydia? How do you take Azithromycin? Side effects of Azithromycin? Interactions with alcohol and food? Any interactions with other drugs? Is there any reason why I would not be able to take Azithromycin? Why should I take Azithromycin?
What is Azithromycin?
Azithromycin is a form of antibiotic medication, which is used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Azithromycin is commonly used as a form of chlamydia treatment, as Azithromycin is extremely effective at eliminating the bacteria associated with Chlamydia infection.
What is Chlamydia?
Chlamydia is the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted disease in the UK, with over 200,000 patients testing positive every year. However, chlamydia can affect people of all ages.
If you have had unprotected sex with a partner who could have chlamydia you need to get tested.
What are the symptoms of Chlamydia in men?
Males infected with chlamydia do not suffer from any symptoms)
• Discharge from penis (white, cloudy or watery)
• Burning sensation when passing urine
• Swelling or painful of testicles
• Painful joints if left untreated
Chlamydia can also appear as a throat infection, conjunctivitis (in the eyes) and as rectal pain, discharge or bleeding.
What are the symptoms of Chlamydia in women?
Symptoms can range from:
- No symptoms (Seven out of ten women with chlamydia do not suffer from any symptoms)
• Abnormal vaginal discharge
• Bleeding between periods
• Bleeding or pain when having sex
• Burning sensation when passing urine
• Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (lower abdominal pains, vaginal discharge and fever)
• Infertility if left untreated
• Joint pain if left untreated
How do you get tested for Chlamydia?
There are free test kits available both online and in your nearest sexual health clinic. You can order one online from the NHS if you are under the age of 25 free of charge. The test is completed by giving a sample of urine in a vial and sending it off to get tested. You will receive your test results within 4 weeks by text.
How do you take Azithromycin?
Always take Azithromycin exactly as your doctor and pharmacist has prescribed.
Azithromycin tablets can be taken with or without food, and it is suggested to take Azithromycin with half a glass of water.
The normal dosage for chlamydia treatment is 1000mg all in one go, then 500mg daily for two days. The entire course is 3 days long.
Do not have sex until you have completed all of the treatment.
After the course of treatment is complete it is possible that you could test positive for Chlamydia for up to 8 weeks despite no longer being infectious.
Side effects of Azithromycin?
As with any form of medication, Azithromycin treatment has side effects. For a full list of side effects, please read the Patient Information Leaflet of Azithromycin. Below are a few of the common side effects of taking Azithromycin:
• Abdominal pain
• Feeling sick (nausea)
• Loose wind (flatulence).
• Lack of appetite (anorexia)
• Feeling dizzy
• Sensation of pins and needles or numbness (paraesthesia)
• Changes in your sense of taste
• Visual impairment
• Being sick (vomiting), stomach pain or cramps, loss of appetite, problems digesting your food
• Skin rashes and itching
• Joint pain (arthralgia)
• Change in the quantity of the white blood cells and the concentration of bicarbonate in the blood
For the full list of possible side effects, please read through the Patient Information Leaflet of Azithromycin.
Interactions with alcohol and food?
Combining alcohol and Azithromycin is best avoided as it could worsen the side effects associated with the drug.
Any interactions with other drugs?
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking, or have recently taken any other medication. Below is a list of medications that may interfere with Azithromycin:
- • Antacids – Should be taken at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after the antacid
• Ergotamine – Should not be taken at the same time as serious side effects may develop
• Cholesterol lowering medicines (statins)
• Warfarin or similar medicines – Used to thin the blood. Azithromycin can thin the blood even more
• Cisapride – Should not be taken at the same time as this may cause severe heart problems
• Terfenadine – Should not be taken at the same time as this may cause severe heart problems
• Zidovudine or Nelfinavir – Used to treat HIV infections. Taking nelfinavir with Azithromycin may induce side-effects
• Rifabutin – Used to treat tuberculosis (TB)
• Quinidine – Used to treat heart rhythm problems
• Cyclosporin – Your doctor may change your dose
• Alfentanil – A painkiller, use with Azithromycin may make the effects stronger
• Theophylline – Use with Azithromycin may make the effects stronger
• Digoxin – Used to treat heart problems, use with Azithromycin may make the effects stronger
• Astemizol – Used to treat hay fever, use with Azithromycin may make the effects stronger
• Pimozide – Used to treat mental health problems, use with Azithromycin may make the effects stronger
Is there any reason why I would not be able to take Azithromycin?
You can NOT take Azithromycin if:
- You are allergic to any of the ingredients
- Suffer from kidney problems
- Suffer with liver issues
- Have localized muscle weakness
- Have a neurological disease
- Suffer with behavioral problems
- Have prolonged QT interval
- Have irregular heartbeats or suffer from reduced heart function
- Have low magnesium or potassium levels in your blood.
If you are unsure of any of the above criteria, please contact your doctor before commencing treatment of Azithromycin.
Why should I take Azithromycin?
Azithromycin can prevent the spread of chlamydia as it effectively kills the bacteria in your body making you no longer infectious. Azithromycin can also prevent the long-term effect Chlamydia such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, urethral infection and overall pain in both men and women.
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