17 PATIENT COUNSELING INFORMATION
Azithromycin tablets may be taken with or without food. However, increased tolerability has been observed when tablets are taken with food.
Azithromycin for oral suspension in single 1 g packets can be taken with or without food after constitution.
Patients should also be cautioned not to take aluminum- and magnesium-containing antacids and azithromycin simultaneously.
The patient should be directed to discontinue azithromycin immediately and contact a physician if any signs of an allergic reaction occur.
Direct parents or caregivers to contact their physician if vomiting and irritability with feeding occurs in the infant.
Patients should be counseled that antibacterial drugs, including azithromycin, should only be used to treat bacterial infections. They do not treat viral infections (e.g., the common cold). When azithromycin is prescribed to treat bacterial infection, patients should be told that although it is common to feel better early in the course of therapy, the medication should be taken exactly as directed. Skipping doses or not completing the full course of therapy may (1) decrease the effectiveness of the immediate treatment and (2) increase the likelihood that bacteria will develop resistance and will not be treatable by azithromycin or other antibacterial drugs in the future.
Diarrhea is a common problem caused by antibacterial which usually ends when the antibiotic is discontinued. Sometimes after starting treatment with antibacterials, patients can develop watery and bloody stools (with or without stomach cramps and fever) even as late as two or more months after having taken the last dose of the antibacterial. If this occurs, patients should contact their physician as soon as possible.
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