Common side effects of azithromycin include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and headaches. Azithromycin can also cause you to feel dizzy, confused, or disoriented, so you should avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know what kind of impact it has on you.
This is not a complete list of adverse effects – though these are among the most common. Seek medical attention right away if you experience any of the following symptoms while taking azithromycin:
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
- rash with or without a fever
- blisters or peeling
- fever and pus-filled, blister-like sores, redness, and swelling of the skin
- wheezing or difficulty breathing or swallowing
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- vomiting or irritability while feeding (in infants less than 6 weeks old)
- severe diarrhea (watery or bloody stools) that may occur with or without fever and stomach cramps (may occur up to 2 months or more after your treatment)
- yellowing of the skin or eyes
- extreme tiredness
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- lack of energy
- loss of appetite
- pain in the upper right part of the stomach
- flu-like symptoms
- dark-colored urine
- unusual muscle weakness or difficulty with muscle control
- pink and swollen eyes
As with all prescription medication, be sure to inform the prescribing doctor about any medical conditions you have been previously diagnosed with, as well as any medication/ supplements you are currently taking before starting treatment with azithromycin.
Azithromycin can interact with other forms of medication and substances, causing potentially serious side effects. These medications and substances include certain anticoagulants (blood thinners), colchicine (Colcrys, Gloperba, Mitigare), cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), digoxin (Lanoxin), dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal, Trudhesa); ergotamine (Ergomar, in Migergot), medications for irregular heartbeat such as amiodarone (Nexterone, Pacerone), dofetilide (Tikosyn), procainamide, quinidine, and sotalol (Betapace, Sorine, Sotylize), nelfinavir (Viracept), and phenytoin (Dilantin, Phenytek).
Certain antacids can reduce the effectiveness of azithromycin tablets and azithromycin powder for suspension, so you should allow time to pass between taking antacids and your azithromycin dose.
In addition, let your doctor know if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant before starting treatment with this medication.