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Medically Approved

Zithromax dosage: A detailed guide

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Forms and strengthsDosageFAQsHow it’s takenCouponOverdoseAsk your doctor
Doctors prescribe Zithromax for certain infections from bacteria. You take the tablet and liquid suspension by mouth once per day. You receive the injection once per day. Treatment with all forms is 1 day or longer.
Medically reviewed by Victor Nguyen, PharmD, MBA
Updated on December 7, 2023

This article describes Zithromax’s dosages and strengths and gives details on how to take it. You’ll also find information on cost savings and coupon options for Zithromax. If you want to know more about Zithromax, see this overview article. It covers details about the drug’s uses, side effects, and more.

Zithromax is a brand-name medication that comes as an oral tablet, oral suspension,* and injection. It’s available in a generic version called azithromycin. This article describes dosages of Zithromax.

* An oral suspension is a type of liquid mixture.

Forms and strengths of Zithromax

Zithromax comes in the following forms and strengths. Strength is measured in milligrams (mg) and mg per milliliter (mg/mL).

FormHow to take or receive Strength
oral tabletswallow• 250 mg
• 500 mg
oral suspensionswallow• 100 mg/5 mL
• 200 mg/5 mL
injectionreceive as an intravenous (IV) infusion*• 500 mg/vial

* An IV infusion is an injection given into a vein over time. A doctor or other healthcare professional gives the injection.

Dosage of Zithromax

This article describes the recommended dosages for Zithromax. The drugmaker provides these dosages.

If your doctor prescribes this medication, you should follow the dosage they prescribe. Your doctor will determine the dosage that best meets your needs. Do not change your dosage of Zithromax without your doctor’s recommendation.

Usual recommended dosages of Zithromax in adults

Zithromax is approved to treat certain infections caused by bacteria in adults. These include:

* Sex and gender exist on spectrums. In this article, we use the term “male” to refer to a person’s sex assigned at birth.

Dosage for chronic bronchitis flare-up and other conditions

The following table outlines the recommended dosages of Zithromax oral tablet, oral suspension,* and injection.† All dosages are in milligrams (mg).

ConditionFormRecommended dosage
chronic bronchitis flare-uporal tablet or oral suspension• 500 mg once per day for 3 days,
or
• 500 mg as a single dose on day 1, then 250 mg once per day on days 2–5
sinus infectionoral tablet or oral suspension500 mg once per day for 3 days
skin infectionsoral tablet or oral suspension500 mg as a single dose on day 1, then 250 mg once per day on days 2–5
urethritis or cervicitisoral tablet or oral suspension1,000 mg as a single dose
gonococcal urethritis or cervicitisoral tablet or oral suspension2,000 mg as a single dose
genital ulcer diseaseoral tablet or oral suspension1,000 mg as a single dose
pneumonia developed outside of a hospital stayoral tablet, oral suspension, or injection
• oral tablet or oral suspension: 500 mg as a single dose on day 1, then 250 mg once per day on days 2–5
• injection: 500 mg once per day
sore throat or tonsillitis
oral tablet or oral suspension500 mg as a single dose on day 1, then 250 mg once per day on days 2–5
pelvic inflammatory diseaseinjection500 mg once per day for 1 or 2 days‡

* An oral suspension is a type of liquid mixture.
† Zithromax injection is given by intravenous (IV) infusion. This is an injection given into a vein over time. A doctor or other healthcare professional gives the injection.

‡ After treatment with the injection for 1 or 2 days, your doctor should prescribe Zithromax oral tablet or oral suspension. The dosage for the tablet or suspension is 250 mg once per day through day 7. You’ll receive treatment for a total of 7 days, beginning with the injection.

Dosages of Zithromax in children

Zithromax oral tablet and oral suspension are approved to treat certain infections caused by bacteria in some children. These include:

The dosage of Zithromax oral tablet and oral suspension will depend on your child’s weight. The following table shows the recommended dosages in milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of body weight. For reference, 1 kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb).

ConditionAgeFormRecommended dosage
ear infection6 months and olderoral tablet or oral suspension• 30 mg/kg once as a single dose
or
• 10 mg/kg once per day for 3 days
or
• 10 mg/kg once as a single dose on day 1, then 5 mg/kg per day on days 2–5
sinus infection6 months and olderoral tablet or oral suspension10 mg/kg once per day for 3 days
pneumonia developed outside of a hospital stay6 months and olderoral tablet or oral suspension10 mg/kg once as a single dose on day 1, then 5 mg/kg once per day on days 2–5
sore throat or tonsillitis2 years and olderoral tablet or oral suspension12 mg/kg once per day for 5 days

For example, assume a doctor prescribes Zithromax oral suspension as a single dose to treat a child’s ear infection. The child weighs 25 kg, which is about 55 lb. So the doctor prescribes 750 mg as a single dose.

Dosage adjustments for Zithromax

Your doctor will prescribe a dosage of Zithromax based on several factors. These include:

  • the specific condition being treated and how severe it is
  • your age
  • other health conditions you may have

Missed dose of Zithromax

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist right away if you realize you forgot to take a dose of Zithromax. They may advise you to take the missed dose. Or they may advise you to skip it and take your next dose as scheduled.

For tips on how to plan your doses of Zithromax and avoid missing a dose, read this article. You could also try:

  • downloading a reminder app on your phone
  • setting an alarm
  • putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your calendar, bathroom mirror, or bedside table

Frequently asked questions

Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about Zithromax and its dosage.

How long does it take Zithromax to start working?

Zithromax starts working right away. But it may take a few days for the symptoms of your infection to lessen.

Be sure to finish the entire course of Zithromax that your doctor prescribes. This is important even if you start to feel better. Stopping treatment early can worsen the infection. Or the infection can become harder to treat.

If you have more questions about this, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.

Is Zithromax taken long term?

No, doctors don’t typically prescribe Zithromax as a long-term treatment. Instead, it’s usually recommended for short-term use.

If you have questions about how long you should take Zithromax, talk with your doctor.

How Zithromax is taken

If you take Zithromax oral tablet or oral suspension, you’ll swallow it once as a single dose or once per day. Your doctor will prescribe these details. You can take the tablet or suspension with or without food. Taking it with food can lower your risk of having an upset stomach.

If your doctor prescribes Zithromax injection, you’ll receive it by intravenous (IV) infusion. A doctor or other healthcare professional gives the injection into a vein over time.

Your doctor may advise that you take the oral tablet or oral suspension around the same time each day. This helps keep a consistent amount of the drug in your body. And that can help the drug work more effectively.

The drugmaker hasn’t specified whether it’s safe to cut, chew, crush, or dissolve Zithromax oral tablet. So you should swallow it whole. If it’s hard for you to swallow tablets, view this article. It provides suggestions on how to swallow medications that come in pill form.

Also, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re having difficulty taking your medication. They can offer recommendations about taking it.

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Overdose of Zithromax

It’s important that you do not take more Zithromax oral tablet and oral suspension than your doctor prescribes. Doing so can lead to harmful effects.

Symptoms of Zithromax overdose

Symptoms of an overdose can include:

  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting

What to do if you take too much Zithromax

If you think you’ve taken too much Zithromax, call your doctor or pharmacist right away. Or you could call 800-222-1222 to speak with someone at America’s Poison Centers. You can also use its online resource. If you have severe symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number immediately. You can also go to the closest emergency room.

What to ask your doctor

This article describes the usual recommended dosages for Zithromax. If your doctor prescribes this medication, they’ll determine the dosage that’s best for you.

Do not change your dosage of Zithromax without your doctor’s recommendation. You should take Zithromax exactly as your doctor prescribes it. Let your doctor know if you have concerns or questions about your treatment plan.

Here’s a list of some possible questions you may want to ask your doctor:

  • If I’m still having symptoms of my infection after I finish Zithromax treatment, what should I do?
  • How long will I take Zithromax?
  • Which form of Zithromax will work best for my condition?

Disclaimer: Optum Perks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.

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