Azithromycin side effects: I started... - Lung Conditions C...

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Azithromycin side effects

wizsue profile image
45 Replies

I started long term (alternative days) azithromycin 250mg a few months. I am not able to take the capsules because I have a swolling problem, they were changed to tablets which can be taken with food.

3-4 hours after taking a tablet I start to feel really unwell, shivery, so tired, bloated, awful stomach pains and oral thrush. The feeling of being unwell subsides slowly the following day only to emerge again on the next tablet day.

I have tried without success to get someone from the Surgery to discuss the meds, I have sent numerous messages. The last one was picked up by a Doctor somewhere who didn't know me and said she was picking up the surgerys messages. She said she couldn't help me but would leave a message with the surgery. Still no joy.

The respioratory consultant is unreachable. I have an appointment with him in 4 months time.

I have tried the chemist. No luck.

Has anyone had similar side effects?

45 Replies
poppyshola profile image

Hi wizsue, I found Azithromycin upset my stomach too but thought it could be because I have a very sensitive stomach with IBS... but also take lots of pills etc due to other ailments.. I found they not only bloated me but felt like they caused a burning like heartburn ..Regarding having no replies to your messages.. I would suggest

e mailing the secretary to your consultant Cc your GP (copy to)

And one to your GP cc your consultant..

... they can't ignore that...

wizsue profile image
wizsue in reply to poppyshola

It's good to know other people also have problems with this drug. It is a shame because it seems to help my chest, but I also have IBS and diverticular disease too. I think I will stop them for now and as you say try emailing the consultant and leave another message with the surgery.

Belledaisy09 profile image
Belledaisy09 in reply to poppyshola

Hi Wizsue, I also take azithromycin 3 days a week as my winter antibiotic but found out can't take them with any anti acid tablets so I take mine at night now and don't seem to have any problems hope this helps with you xx 🥰

poppyshola profile image
poppyshola in reply to Belledaisy09

Well discovered

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Belledaisy09

Wow - I had no idea that there's a problem taking antacids with azithromycin. I take a ppi half an hour before my breakfast, where I have been taking my 3xweek azith. How did you discover this Belledaisy?

JetJet profile image
JetJet in reply to O2Trees

My Mum was recently given omeprazole for reflux and told not to take them on the same day as her Mon, Wed & Fri Azithromycin. Didn't say why but def made a point.

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to JetJet

But that's bonkers. If you need a ppi, then you need it every day!

JetJet profile image
JetJet in reply to O2Trees

She is 94 years old so wonder if maybe it was to lessen side effects? A 20mg dosage of the Omeprazole 4 days a week did the job though. She stopped 4 weeks ago and now back to being disturbed at night, lump in throat, breathless and having to get up to clear throat. Exhausted. Back on it today. They hoped 2 months would settle the problem and it would not return but it has.

Alberta56 profile image

You can't go on like that. If it were me I would stop taking the tablets. Various people, including Littlepom, have replied to Cornishman's post on a similar subject.

wizsue profile image
wizsue in reply to Alberta56

I think I will stop the tablets, at least for now or until medics answer me. Thank you for replying. I haven't seen Cornishmans post.

Oshgosh profile image

I’ve been a successful with arithromyin but every one different. Have you considered ringing the consultants secretary.

wizsue profile image
wizsue in reply to Oshgosh

Her mail box is full, just a message to say phone back another time. So will keep trying. Thank you.

ElsaC profile image

I also take azithromycin on alternate days. I was told that it shouldn't be taken with food .

wizsue profile image
wizsue in reply to ElsaC

Thanks Elsa. The capsules cant be taken with food but I take them in tablet form which can be taken with food. I did check with the Pharmacy first though.

Batman1313 profile image

I take as you do. I had no problems until recently and now have upset tummy on occasions.

Jandm profile image

hi there. I started on Azithromycin about 13 or 14 years ago and I take it daily. I found that it really upset my tummy, spasms nausea etc etc then I switched from taking it am to pm. I found that when I took it prior to going to bed that I seemed to bypass all the side effects. I have stuck to that routine religiously. It has never bothered me since then.

B0xermad profile image
B0xermad in reply to Jandm

That's really interesting to hear as I have been on them 7yrs and on 500mg 3 times a week and get bloated heartburn on constant running to the loo after 6hrs,I take them in the morning so I might try evening and see if it will help

Jandm profile image
Jandm in reply to B0xermad

I genuinely hope it works for you. I used to be doubled over with tummy spasms at work until I switched times. I keep them in my bedside cabinet and take them literally before bed. I sit propped up for 5 minutes to allow them to go down and then I rest easy. I learned once that lying down as soon as i’d taken them wasn’t a good idea, but a few minutes made all the difference. Fingers crossed it works for you to

B0xermad profile image
B0xermad in reply to Jandm

That sounds good to me as I read for a while before going to sleep so I will try it this evening and thanks for the heads up

Jandm profile image
Jandm in reply to B0xermad

let me know if it works for you 😊

B0xermad profile image
B0xermad in reply to Jandm

I took it last night and so far so good 👍

Jandm profile image
Jandm in reply to B0xermad

ah I’m really pleased for you ☺️

wizsue profile image

Sorry, I'm not going to reply to you via whatsapp. Can you say on this only please.

poppyshola profile image
poppyshola in reply to wizsue

Wise move ... there's too many risks online .. just not worth it

B0xermad profile image

Hi 7yrs on from 250mg to 500mg 3 times a week stomach cramps bloated and running to the loo after 6 hrs is what I have got used to so I sympathise with you, I am going to try what jandm suggested and take them in the evening to see if they work better

insti122 profile image

Was your TMPT level checked prior to being prescribed azothromycin? I am a TMPT carrier so my azithromycin dosage was reduced but not sufficiently and I was very ill after taking it. I was told to stop taking it and prescribed an alternative.

wizsue profile image
wizsue in reply to insti122

Sorry I don't know what TMPT means. Before I started Azithromycin I had to have a blood test and ECG to make sure my heart condition was not going to affect the drug.

Pwkav1 profile image

I take Omeprazole everyday and took the stronger Azythromycyn dose 500mg i managed them they do change your bowel habits upset stomach but were all different. Drs should be helping you if they dont agree with you at all. Good luck. Karen xxx

gingermusic profile image

I have the same tablets and always take at least an hour before my breakfast and have no problems at all with them. Maybe taking with food is causing the problem. Worth a try

wizsue profile image
wizsue in reply to gingermusic

Capsules cant be taken with any food but tablets can, strange one.

gingermusic profile image
gingermusic in reply to wizsue

Sorry I had no idea there were different rules depending on whether taking capsules or tablets.

Lfcpremier profile image

Hi.. So awful for you to suffer these side effects. I have taken them for 11years.Started off daily but reduced it myself to 3x weekly(the usual dose).You could try acidophilus probiotic daily to help with the thrush & take with fodbut I think an email to the consultant needed.

Good luck! X

wizsue profile image
wizsue in reply to Lfcpremier

I managed to get through to the consultants secretary. She was very helpful and managed to get him to reply within a few hours. I have now been told best to stop taking the drug for now and when I see him in 4 months time! he will look at other drugs. Still got a long wait.

Lfcpremier profile image
Lfcpremier in reply to wizsue

Glad you got in touch with him. If you deteriorate you would have to contact him again. 🤞you remain fairly stable.Do you take Carbocysteine & use a nebuliser with saline to help clear your chest? Worth considering. 😊

wizsue profile image
wizsue in reply to Lfcpremier

Azith. was helping my lungs, but the side effects seem are really unbearable and not subsiding. Yes I do take Carbocysteine, ventolin and another inhaler as well as having a nebuliser.

Fredelsa profile image

If you have still not had a reply from your GP, I would strongly recommend speaking to a Pharmacist, again, the response to such can vary, but I have had excellent response from the Link Pharmacy in Maidstone, tel: 01622 752990, I'm not sure where your location is, but truly worth a chat. You can also take Gaviscon for acute episodes of acid reflux, however read the instructions as there is time advice between doses of Gaviscon and PPI's and food, so its a balancing act. I had horrendous reflux from Trimbow inhaler, I couldn't even stand up straight, so I do appreciate your discomfort and concern. Good luck with that, and ask about alternative methods of taking the medication you have been prescribed, or an alternative.

Best wishes

Maximonkey profile image

Hi wizsue, I have been taking Azith for 11 years now and I am very grateful to have been able to tolerate them. For the initial 6 weeks or so I too suffered with stomach problems but then my body seemed to adjust and I am great now. I take them after breakfast and suffer no problems. I imagine the tablets take longer to digest so capsules should be kinder to your stomach. Can't you talk to your GP and ask advice? I have found over time not to take any juices around breakfast time as these too did not mix well with Azith. Maybe look at what you are eating, I take mine after a bowl of porridge which gives my stomach a good lining. The benefits of Azithromycin are huge. No infections, no pneumonia and a better life. Hope this helps. Take care Maximonkey

Abu12345 profile image

Biotene dry mouth spray will enable to swallow any pill. 3 sprays in the back of your throat and put the pill in the back for a few seconds and wash down with water.

giobronchio profile image

I am really sorry to hear you have got this problem. I have been on Azith for more than 3 years now and never had any sde effetct. I think you should really discuss this with your GP or even better with your lung specialist when you get a chance to see him😔.

The only advise I can give you is trying to take it on a full stomach. Sometimes that helps.

Best of luck to you..

ritapeeps profile image

I take Omeprazole & Carbosisteine two hours before the Azithromycin & then wait another hour before i have my breakfast. Hope this helps you.


Pudding-30 profile image

Hi sorry there making you poorly, I'm also taking 500ml 3 times a week, they have much the same effect, bad tummy dizziness a general feeling of unwell Ness, I've stopped taking them at the moment, seeing that other's have side effects there's a few of us, wishing you well ☺️

wizsue profile image
wizsue in reply to Pudding-30

So sorry Pudding, I know how this feels, horrible. Side effects seem to outweigh the benefits. I am also stopping them for now too.

Patty24 profile image

Hi, I asked for the liquid form and take before bed .since I changed I have no problems.Good luck.Hope u will feel better very soon.

Patk1 profile image

Talk to yr pharmacist at yr chemist

teddyd profile image

Hi Azithromycin was a life saver for me been on them about 12 years. Have also been taking emeprozile for longer than that.

I take 2 x40 mg emeprozile a day one morning and night.

I see that some people have have been told not to take them on the same day let alone at the same time.

I see two different consultants

( stomach &lungs) and ever never been adviced of this.

I hope they can an alternative that can help you.

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