Information on Azithromycin Side Effects: How Long Do They Last?
Azithromycin is an antibiotic that is prescribed to treat certain bacterial infections. These include pneumonia, bronchitis and bacterial infections of the ears, throat, skin, lungs, sinuses and reproductive organs. As this drug is effective on the types of bacteria that penicillin antibiotics like amoxicillin work on, it can be used by people who are allergic to penicillin antibiotics. Often people wonder about azithromycin side effects; how long do they last and other such things. Here is what they should know.
Common Side Effects of Azithromycin
Azithromycin is a semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic that is available in generic form. The common side effects of Azithromycin are:
- Tummy upset
- Abdominal pain
- Loose stools or diarrhea
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Problem with sleeping
How Long Does the Side Effects Last?
The drug takes nearly 15.5 days to get flushed out of the system after the last dose is taken. It works on the fact that the elimination half-life of Azithromycin is of 68 hours. It takes nearly 5.5 times the elimination half-life for the medicine to get flushed out of the system. It means 5.5 x 68 hours, which is equal to 374 hours or roughly 15.5 days. It simply means that the drug will remain in the body for that many days causing side effects. But, as the drug quantity keeps reducing, the intensity of side effects will reduce too. The prolonged terminal half-life of this drug is probably due to extensive uptake. Also, the drug gets subsequently released from tissues.
There are some other factors that can affect azithromycin side effects; how long do they last. These are:
- How Much and How Often the Drug Is Taken: An oral dose of Azithromax typically consists of 500 mg for a day followed by 250 mg for 4 days. If given intravenously, 500 mg of it is given for 2 days and then 500 mg is given orally daily for the next five to eight days depending upon the severity of the infection. It depends on how much dose is given and for how long the side effects might be present. It’s not that everyone will experience all side effects, but if one’s body is more sensitive, they are more likely to experience some side effects, the most prominent being tummy upset.
- Metabolic Rate: The metabolic rate of all individuals is different. The time for which the drug remains in the system is directly dependent on the metabolic rate. Thus, those having a sluggish metabolic rate will take more time to flush the drug out of their system than taken by those who have a high metabolic rate. It means if a person suffering from hypothyroid gets a bacterial infection in which he or she is given this drug, then it will take him or her more time to flush the drug out of the system. It is because the metabolic rate gets sluggish for people suffering from hypothyroid.
- Age and Health: It is a normal phenomenon that as we age our metabolic rate starts coming down. Thus, it would take more time for a person in his 70s to flush it out of his system than it would take for a 30-year-old. It also depends on how healthy a person is. If there is no other recurring ailment and the person is generally healthy, then the body works better in throwing the drug out of the system.
- Body Mass: The heavier one is, the longer a drug remains in the system. Thus, if your body mass is more, you will take more days to flush it out. The more the number of days it is in the system, the prolonged is the side effects.
Thus, to exactly know azithromycin side effects how long do they last one needs to take the holistic view and not just depend on any one thing. This drug, being an antibiotic, is meant for bacterial infections and should never be taken for viral infections. It works by stopping the growth of bacteria and unnecessary usage or misusing the drug will only result in its decreased effectiveness.