Consumer Medicine Information
NOTICE: This Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) is intended for persons
living in Australia. This page contains answers to some common
. It does
not contain all the information that is known about
. It does not take the
place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist. All medicines have risks
and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risk of you using this medicine
against the benefits he/she expects it will have for you. If you have
any concerns about using this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Bookmark or print this page, you may need to read it again.
What Zithromax IV is used for
Zithromax IV is used to treat Pneumonia, a lung infection caused by certain bacteria including Legionella pneumophila.
Zithromax is an antibiotic which belongs to a group of medicines called azalides.
The azalides are a sub-class of a group of antibiotics called macrolides.
Zithromax works by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria causing your infection.
Zithromax IV will not work against viral infections such as colds or flu.
Your doctor may have prescribed Zithromax IV for another reason.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Zithromax IV has been prescribed for you.
This medicine is available only with a doctor's prescription.
This medicine is not addictive.
This medicine is not expected to affect your ability to drive a car or operate machinery.
Before you are given Zithromax IV
When you must not be given it
You must not be given Zithromax IV if you have an allergy to:
Azithromycin or any other ketolide or macrolide antibiotic (e.g., roxithromycin, erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin)
or any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet
If you are not sure if you are allergic to any of the above, ask your doctor.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face,
lips, tongue or to other parts of the body; skin rash, itching or hives.
Zithromax IV must not be given if the expiry date (EXP) or use by date printed on the pack has passed. If you take this medicine
after this date, it may not work.
Zithromax IV must not be given if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If you are not sure whether you should be given Zithromax IV, talk to your doctor before you are given it.
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have or have had any of the following medical conditions:
any kidney problems
any liver problems
any heart problems, including abnormalities of the rhythm
low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood
if you are pregnant or if you plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. Your doctor can discuss with you the risks and
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell him/her before you are given Zithromax IV.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including medicines you buy without a prescription from a pharmacy,
supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interfere with Zithromax IV or increase the risk of side effects. These include:
antacids (a medicine used to treat indigestion)
coumarin-type oral anticoagulants (a medicine used to prevent blood clots)
cyclosporin (a medicine used to prevent organ transplant rejection or to treat certain problems with the immune system)
digoxin (a medicine used to treat abnormal heart rhythm or heart failure)
ergot derivatives (such as ergotamine, which is used to treat migraines)
terfenadine or astemizole (medicines used to treat allergies and hayfever)
zidovudine (a medicine used to treat patients with AIDS)
lomotil, a medicine used to treat diarrhoea
some medicines used to treat heart rhythm problems (heart arrhythmia) such as amiodarone, disopyramide, ibutilide and sotalol
antipsychotic medicines used to treat schizophrenia or bipolar mania such as haloperidol, quetiapine and risperidone
medicines used to treat depression (antidepressants) such as fluoxetine, sertraline and venlafaxine
fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin, lomefloxacin, moxifloxacin and norfloxacin.
These medicines may be affected by Zithromax or may affect how well it works. You may need different amounts of your medicines,
or you may need to take different medicines.
Your doctor or pharmacist has more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while being given Zithromax IV.
Talk to your doctor about the need for additional contraception while being given Zithromax IV.
Some antibiotics may decrease the effectiveness of some birth control pills, although this has not been shown with Zithromax
How Zithromax IV is given
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
How much is given
Your doctor will decide how much Zithromax IV you should receive and the length of time for which you should receive it.
The usual dose of Zithromax IV is 500 mg given as an injection into a vein for 2 to 5 days. You may then be given 500 mg
oral Zithromax once a day for another 2 - 7 days (to complete a 7 to 10 day course of antibiotics).
How it is given
Zithromax IV is given as an injection by a doctor or trained nurse.
Zithromax IV is a powder which is mixed with Water for Injections and then diluted by the pharmacist. It is then injected
into a vein which takes approximately 60 minutes.
If too much is given (Overdose)
As Zithromax IV is given under the close supervision of your doctor, it is very unlikely that you will receive too much.
If you experience any side effects tell your doctor immediately.
While you are being treated
Things you must do
If the symptoms of your infection do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, tell your doctor.
If you get severe diarrhoea, tell your doctor, pharmacist or nurse immediately. Do this even if it occurs several weeks after
Zithromax has been stopped.
Diarrhoea may mean that you have a serious condition affecting your bowel. You may need urgent medical care. Do not take
any diarrhoea medicine without first checking with your doctor.
If you get a sore, white mouth or tongue while being given, or soon after stopping Zithromax IV, tell your doctor. Also tell
your doctor if you get vaginal itching or discharge.
This may mean you have a yeast infection called thrush. Sometimes the use of Zithromax IV allows yeast to grow and the above
symptoms to occur. Zithromax IV does not work against yeast.
If you become pregnant while being given Zithromax, tell your doctor.
If you are about to start any new medicines, tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are being given Zithromax IV.
Tell all doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are being given Zithromax IV.
Things to be careful of
Protect your skin when you are in the sun, especially between 10am and 3pm.
Some macrolide antibiotics may cause your skin to be more sensitive to sunlight than it is normally. Exposure to sunlight
may cause a skin rash, itching, redness or severe sunburn.
If outdoors, wear protective clothing and use a 30+ sunscreen. If your skin does appear to be burning tell your doctor immediately.
Things you must not do
Do not stop taking Zithromax or lower the dosage without checking with your doctor.
If you do not complete the full course prescribed by your doctor, all the organisms causing your infection may not be killed.
These organisms may continue to grow and multiply so that your infection may not clear completely or may return.
Do not give Zithromax to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not use Zithromax to treat any other medical complaints unless your doctor tells you to.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Zithromax.
Like other medicines, Zithromax IV can cause some side effects. If they occur, most are likely to be minor and temporary.
However, some may be serious and need medical attention.
Ask your doctor to answer any questions you may have.
Do not be alarmed by the following list of side effects. You may not experience any of them.
While taking it
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
pain or inflammation at the site of infusion and pain during infusion
oral thrush - white, furry, sore tongue and mouth
vaginal thrush - sore and itchy vagina and/or white discharge
nausea (feeling sick), loss of appetite, vomiting, stomach pain, indigestion, wind, constipation, loose bowel motions
dizziness, headache, spinning sensation
tiredness, drowsiness, fatigue
muscle or joint aches
hearing loss or ringing in the ears
altered taste and smell.
These side effects are usually mild.
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following:
severe persistent diarrhoea
fast or irregular heart beat
symptoms of sunburn such as redness, itching, swelling or blistering which may occur more quickly than normal
decreased feeling or sensitivity, especially in the skin
hives, itching or skin rash
signs of frequent or worrying infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers
bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, reddish or purplish blotches under the skin
dark urine or blood in the urine or bowel motions
aggressive reaction, nervousness, agitation or anxiety
severe upper stomach pain, often with nausea and vomiting.
These are serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
If any of the following happen, stop taking Zithromax and tell your doctor immediately or go to casualty at your nearest hospital:
sudden signs of allergy such as rash, itching or hives on the skin, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the
body, shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing
blisters or ulcers on the skin, in the mouth or airways that may occur after a period of fever
diarrhoea, usually with blood and mucus, stomach pain and fever
yellowing of the eyes or skin, also called jaundice
These are very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation. These side effects are rare.
After finishing it
Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following side effects, particularly if they occur several weeks after
stopping treatment with Zithromax IV:
severe stomach cramps
watery and severe diarrhoea, which may be bloody
fever, in combination with one or both of the above.
Zithromax IV can cause some bacteria, which are normally present in the bowel and normally harmless, to multiply and therefore
cause the above symptoms. You may need urgent medical attention. However, this side effect is rare.
Do not take any medicine for this diarrhoea without first checking with your doctor.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell.
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients.
Some of these side effects (for example certain liver conditions, and blood abnormalities) can only be found when your doctor
does tests from time to time to check your progress.
Do not be alarmed at this list of possible side effects.
You may not experience any of them.
After using Zithromax IV
Zithromax IV is stored in the pharmacy or on the ward. It is kept in a cool dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.
The hospital staff will dispose of any left over Zithromax IV.
What it looks like
A 10 mL vial of Zithromax IV contains 500 mg of azithromycin, providing 100 mg/mL solution following reconstitution.
The active ingredient is azithromycin.
Zithromax IV is supplied by:
Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
ABN 50 008 422 348
38-42 Wharf Road
West Ryde NSW 2114
Toll Free Number: 1800 675 229
Australian Registration Numbers
AUST R 91913
This leaflet was prepared November 2012.
© Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
® Registered Trademark