Zitrocin

Azithromycin (a-zithro-my-sin)
Consumer Medicine Information
 
 

NOTICE: This Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) is intended for persons living in Australia. This page contains answers to some common questions about Zitrocin. It does not contain all the information that is known about Zitrocin. 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 Zitrocin is used for

Zitrocin is used to treat infections in different parts of the body caused by bacteria.
It is commonly used to treat Chlamydia. Zitrocin is also used to prevent infections by a bacterium called Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare Complex (MAC) in some people.
Zitrocin 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.
Zitrocin works by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria causing your infection.
Zitrocin will not work against viral infections such as colds or flu.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why Zitrocin has been prescribed for you.
Your doctor may have prescribed it for another reason.
Zitrocin is only available 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 take Zitrocin

When you must not take it

Do not take Zitrocin if you are allergic to:
azithromycin
any other macrolide or ketolide antibiotics (e.g., clarithromycin, erythromycin, roxithromycin, telithromycin)
any of the ingredients listed at the end of this leaflet.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include shortness of breath, wheezing or difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or other parts of the body; rash, itching or hives on the skin.
Do not take this medicine if the expiry date (EXP) printed on the packaging has passed or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering.
If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should start taking this medicine, talk to your doctor.

Before you start to take it

Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes.
Tell your doctor if you have any other health problems, including:
any liver problems
any kidney problems
any heart problems, including abnormalities of the rhythm
diabetes, hereditary fructose intolerance, glucose-galactose malabsorption or saccharise-isomaltase deficiency
cystic fibrosis
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 benefits involved.
If you have not told your doctor about any of the above, tell them before you start taking Zitrocin.

Taking other medicines

Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you get without a prescription from a pharmacy, supermarket or health food shop.
Some medicines may interfere with Zitrocin or increase the risk of side effects. These include:
antacids (medicines used to treat indigestion)
coumarin-type oral anti-coagulants (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 heart failure)
ergot derivatives (such as ergotamine, which is used to treat migraines)
terfenadine or astemizole (medicines used to treat allergies)
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 Zitrocin 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 to avoid while taking Zitrocin.
Talk to your doctor about the need for additional contraception while taking Zitrocin.
Some antibiotics may decrease the effectiveness of some birth control pills, although this has not been shown with Zitrocin.

How to take Zitrocin

Follow all directions given to you by your doctor or pharmacist carefully.
They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the pack, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.

How much to take

The dose will depend on your infection.
The usual dose to treat Chlamydia is two 500 mg tablets taken as a single dose.
For other infections Zitrocin is usually taken once a day. Sometimes the dose is taken once a week. Your doctor will decide the right dose for you.
Your pharmacist will explain how to use it if you are not sure.

How to take it

Tablets: Swallow the tablets whole with liquid.
Zitrocin may be taken with or without food.
If you are taking an antacid (eg Gastrogel, Mylanta), take it at least one hour before or two hours after your Zitrocin dose.
This will avoid any possible effect of the antacid on the absorption of Zitrocin.

How long to take it

Continue taking Zitrocin until you finish the pack or bottle or until your doctor recommends.
Do not stop taking it because you are feeling better.
If you do not complete the full course prescribed by your doctor, the infection may not clear completely or your symptoms may return.
If you are not sure how long you should be taking Zitrocin, check with your doctor.

If you forget to take it

If you are taking Zitrocin for three days or longer and you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember (within a 24- hour period), then continue as normal.
Do not try to make up for missed doses by taking more than one dose at a time.
If you are not sure what to do, check with your doctor or pharmacist.
If you have trouble remembering to take your Zitrocin, ask your pharmacist for some hints.

If you take too much (Overdose)

Immediately telephone your doctor or Poisons Information Centre (telephone in Australia - 13 11 26) for advice if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much Zitrocin.
Do this even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning. You may need urgent medical attention.
If you take too many tablets, you may get an upset stomach, diarrhoea or skin rashes.

While you are using Zitrocin

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 Zitrocin 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 taking, or soon after stopping Zitrocin, 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 Zitrocin allows yeast to grow and the above symptoms to occur. Zitrocin does not work against yeast.
If you become pregnant while taking Zitrocin, tell your doctor.
If you are about to start any new medicines, tell your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking Zitrocin.
Tell any other doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking Zitrocin.

Things you must not do

Do not stop taking Zitrocin 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 Zitrocin to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not use Zitrocin to treat any other medical complaints unless your doctor tells you to.

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.

Side effects

Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking Zitrocin.
Like other medicines, Zitrocin 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 or pharmacist 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 or pharmacist if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
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, diarrhoea
dizziness, headache, spinning sensation
tiredness, drowsiness, fatigue
muscle or joint aches
rash
hearing loss or ringing in the ears
altered taste and smell.
These side effects are usually mild.
See your doctor immediately and before you take your next dose of Zitrocin if you notice any of the following:
severe persistent diarrhoea (loose bowel motions)
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
aggressive reaction, nervousness, agitation or anxiety
bleeding or bruising more easily than normal, reddish or purplish blotches under the skin
signs of frequent or worrying infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers
dark urine, or blood in the urine or bowel motions
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 Zitrocin 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
chest pain
fainting
convulsions (fits).
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 Zitrocin:
severe stomach cramps
watery and severe diarrhoea, which may be bloody
fever, in combination with one or both of the above.
Zitrocin 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 Zitrocin

Storage

Keep Zitrocin in its original packaging until it is time to use it.
If you take Zitrocin out of its packaging, it may not keep as well.
Keep your Zitrocin in a cool, dry place where the temperature stays below 30°C.
Do not store Zitrocin or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it in the car or on a window sill.
Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep your Zitrocin where young children cannot reach it.
A locked cupboard at least one and a half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.

Disposal

If your doctor tells you to stop taking this medicine, or it has passed its expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any that is left over.

Product description

What it looks like

Zitrocin 500 mg - white, scored, capsule-shaped tablets marked 'ZTM 500' on one side and 'Pfizer' on the other. Blister packs of 2 and 3.

Ingredients

Active ingredient
500 mg tablets
- 500 mg azithromycin per tablet
Other ingredients
pregelatinsed-maize starch
calcium hydrogen phosphate
croscarmellose sodium
magnesium stearate
sodium lauryl sulfate
lactose
hypromellose
titanium dioxide
glycerol triacetate

Supplier

Zitrocin is supplied in Australia by:
Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
ABN 50 008 422 348
38-42 Wharf Road
West Ryde NSW 2114
Australia
Toll Free Number: 1800 675 229

Australian Registration Numbers

500 mg tablets: AUST R 171321
 
This leaflet was prepared October 2012.
 
Zitrocin® is a registered trademark of Pfizer Products Inc
 
© Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd