Lyme Disease – Zithromax

zithromax lyme disease antibioticsAmongst the many Lyme disease antibiotics available is azithromycin, a semi-synthetic macrolide antibiotic similar to erythromycin and clarithromycin. For those being treated for Lyme disease, Zithromax or Zmax (brands of azithromycin) may be prescribed following approval of the medication by the FDA in 1991. Zithromax is an unusual antibiotic however, in that it has a long half-life, meaning that it stays in the body for quite a lot longer than other antibiotics. This has the benefit of allowing patients to take Zithromax just once a day in some cases, and means that it is highly effective even in short courses of treatment for most infections. Some of the bacterial infections currently treated with Zithromax (azithromycin) include Hemophilus influenzae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, mycobacterium avium, and Lyme borreliosis.


How to Take Zithromax for Lyme Disease

Zithromax works by interfering with the creation of proteins in bacteria, without affecting protein development in humans, thus preventing bacteria from growing. The Lyme disease antibiotic can be taken orally, in tablet or liquid form, or intravenously. A common dosage is one to four times 500mg per day, although some patients will require lower dose 250mg tablets, and some 600mg prescriptions. Most infections are treated with a five day course of the antibiotic, with an initial double-dose commonly used followed by the regular dose over the remaining days of treatment.

It is advised that Zithromax is taken with food as it can cause gastrointestinal upset when taken on an empty stomach. Zmax is recommended to be taken on an empty stomach however, as food can inhibit its absorption. Acute bacterial sinusitis may be treated with azithromycin once daily for just three days, but Lyme disease is likely to require longer treatments. Some patients diagnosed as having chronic Lyme disease spend months being treated with Zithromax and a cocktail of other medications contrary to official Lyme disease guidelines.

Cautions over Zithromax Use

Patients should be careful not to take azithromycin (except Zmax) with antacids containing magnesium or aluminium which may be being used to manage symptoms of Lyme disease nausea. The antacids can bind to Zithromax and prevent the medication from being absorbed, thus significantly lowering its efficacy. Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding should be extremely cautious over the use of Zithromax as there are no adequate studies demonstrating safety for such patients. Azithromycin may be used in pregnancy where a clear need is apparent, although other Lyme disease antibiotics constitute the first line of treatment. It is not known if azithromycin is secreted in breast milk.

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