British Lung Foundation
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Azithromycin and side effects - how long do they last?

Has anyone suffered from side effects of this medicineI am hoping that those who had suffered the side effects have recovered. Can anyone comment on their recovery? I took the 5-day course 2 weeks ago and I am still experiencing slight dizziness/unsteadiness when I walk, a strange fuzzy heavy head pressure, sporadic anxious/nervous feeling like I was going into panic attack mode, and also occasional stomach digestion discomfort. I hope none of this is permanent. I know that the drug has a long half life and it's probably still in my system or wreaking havoc. Can someone comment on their experience and whether these side effects will go away?

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I would make a doctor’s appointment..It seems like a long time to me to have side effects from a five-day course. Maybe you are still tired from the infection you had antibiotics for?

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I was on a 5 day course about three weeks ago and didn't notice any side effects. It seems odd you would still be having side effects but medication often effects differebpnt people differently So as HL suggested a trip to the doctor may be best. I usually take probiotics when I am taking an antibiotic, but again that is something to discuss with your doctor before you start taking them. They may help with digestive issues.

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I take probiotics too..live yoghurts and rice help..plain food basically..

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Hi Dragonreborn, I take Azith 3 times a week, I did have digestive and bowel problems for the first 6 weeks but with probiotics and yoghurt daily these problems subsided. I have had no problems since. As the others have suggested I think a trip to the GP is called for. Take care Maximonkey

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Hello dragonreborn, I am unable to comment about the side effects you are experiencing, however I took 1x250mg every day for 18 months with no side effects whatsoever. I am having a break from them now, but this was my choice to see how my lungs cope. So far so good! Best wishes for the future.

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For what you took it ? For acne ? Please tell🙏🏻

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I too take Azith 3 days a week, permanently. I've never had any side effects with it. I use it as a prophylactic drug.

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I was taking an ab called Erythromycin few years ago and that gave me similar side effects to what you describe, took a good month or so I'm afraid but it did go. I ate small regular meals, probiotics twice a day and lots of rest.

Recently I was on a different ab and got similar probs but not quite as bad, although very itchy skin and 4 weeks on it's not completely gone.

The side effects can last a long time but if it's tummy probs usually Omeprazole helps as that is very much for stomach problems like ulcers or lining damage.

It won't be permanent but may take a good few weeks till you back to normal, make sure your GP knows not to give you those again.

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I also had a bad reaction to erythromycin a few years ago. Started with a terrible headache, then my main muscles lost strength. Needed help to get out of bed or chair, climb stairs, even pushing the duvet down was impossible. I had nerve tests and a list of worsening symptoms that would need hospital treatment, especially breathing problems, when a tracheotomy was planned. Terrifying! I stopped the erythromycin after 2+ days and gradually the problem receded. Nerve tests clear by then, too. Took about a week or so, but the first three or four days were really a nightmare. Hospital still not certain it was erythromycin but no other cause found.

The good news was it passed and no symptoms since.....2010.

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wow around a month? Thanks for letting me know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I thought I was getting better then had side effects relapses...My stomache felt better last week but then nausea hit me again for the past couple of days. I'll be seeing a GI and a Neurologist just to make sure my head dizziness/pressure as well as my stomach problem are temporary and not permanent. It can be very scary when you aren't sure how long the side effects will last!!

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I know I felt terrible, but it does subside just takes time so get rest and take your vitamins. In about a month get blood test done to make sure your blood count I okay as it can effect that too. Probiotics help with the stomach and avoid alcohol and spicy food or greasy foods till your 100% again.

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I am going through the same thing right now after a five day course of Azithromycin. It's been about 11 days since I stopped taking it, and some of the side effects have subsided but they're definitely still there.

Can I ask- how long did it take for them to go away for you? Did you find anything that helped? So far, my doctor is at a loss and basically just told me to give it time.

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It took about a month and a half for the side effects to go away. I developed terrible anxiety from the medicine, and those symptoms got worse actually. My nerves and body shook a lot, and I walked feeling imbalanced. I had to see a neurologist to make sure I wasn't having "real" neurological problems. I'm still suffering from those symptoms but have gotten better...now 5 months later. But if you don't have anxiety issues, then the other side effects "should" be gone in about a month or so, after your last pill. I hope you feel better asap.

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I’m so sorry to hear that and I hope you begin to feel better! My anxiety was the worst the first few days but seems to have subsided about 80%. I can’t shake the very disassociative, fuzzy- headed feeling though and every muscle in my body feels like they’ve turned to wood. Hopefully will get out of my system soon....

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Yes, im on day 8 of 9 day supply and i have the exact same side effects.

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Yes i have the same side effects!

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hello. did those feelings ever go away?

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Is it long fever also a side effect of zithromax???

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I'm taking 500mg per day for 3 days. Super dizziness and tiredness attack me.Don't know when will it stop....

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Hello how are you? i recently took a trip with my family on vacation and ate some bad chicken and unknowingly caught a bacteria named campylobacter jejuni that after 3 hospitals and 6 doctors went undetected as my symptoms worsened. finally they took a stool sample and tested it only to find out it was that. long story short they started me on 750mg of Cipro twice a day for 3 days. By day 2 things took a turn for the worse and i started reacting severly to it. come to find out ive been allergic to it since a child. they immediately changed me to azithromycin for 5 days. the first day felt great but each day after the dizziness, anxiety and panic attacks become more common. Today was my last day and I'm terrified because the dizziness, anxiety, uneasiness and nervousness does not subside. my primary care doctor says its in my head and prescribed me Ativan for anxiety, but these feelings are all too real and its downright scary. please any feedback would be appreciated.

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Hello, I’m really sorry to hear about all that you’ve gone through recently. I do hope and believe that you will recover from the side effects of the medicine. It takes time. The medicine has a long half life so even after you finished it the side effects will continue for weeks afterwards. Dizziness and anxiety are all side effects I experienced too. Maybe try to remind yourself that these are temporary so that can lessen your anxiety? Personally I picked up meditation and light exercise. It’s very hard but time will take these problems away eventually. But I would suggest keep following up with your doctor if you really feel unwell. I hope you get better and feel better asap.

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HI There , Dragon reborn - It’s so nice to hear comments like yours because it assures me that I’m not crazy like my parents and relatives may believe I am. I just hit the two month mark and while some of the uglier side effects have subsided , I’m still dealing with a lingering severe anxiety that has developed into agoraphobia. Only place I feel safe and happy is at home and even here, i feel uncomfortable symptoms of brain fog occasionally, serious nervousness and tension feeling and an anxiety that drives me crazy. And I’m not a pill person either. They terrify me if the side effects and addiction risks but I’m told by other zanax users that if I start those , I would get my life back. It sounds so tempting but I wanna to get thru this naturally. What are your thoughts if you don’t mind. Are you better now. Are you recovered. How long did it take for you get back to normal. Did I try medications or is there a trick to getting better faster. Sorry for so many questions.

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Hello Dragonreborn324,

Thank you for your post and input. Also thanks to everyone in this thread that has spoken about their experience using this antibiotic. I recently finished 4 courses of azithromycin (z pak) about 1 1/2 weeks ago for persistent sinusitis along with prednisone. My doctor had stated that it takes at least 2 courses back to back along with prednisone to knock out my infection. After little relief I had a follow up and he prescribed another 2 courses. I am all too familiar with the anxiety and the symptoms of feeling unwell that count as side effects of this medication. I have learned my lesson the hard way. My one question to you or any other members reading this post is...Has azithromycin affected your sense of taste or smell? I have an indescribable horrible taste in my mouth, almost metallic like. This is of course after I have stopped taking this medicine. Any input or experience from you or others members would be greatly appreciated. I am about at my wits end. Eating and drinking just isn’t the same. I hope for this to subside soon. Hope you are well.

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Have you had any blood work done since starting azithromycin? I was having side effects, dizziness, nausea, tinnitus, vision abnormalities and unfortunately many others. I reported them to my doctor and my blood test came back with stage 3 kidney dysfunction. I took the antibiotic over 3 months ago now. Some side effects subsided but many still remain. I wish I knew how long the side effects could last it seems like forever for me.

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I can answer your question by telling you that the taste and smell problem you’re having is extremely common from this antibiotic. Personally I didn’t go thru this effect but I’m nearing the 3 month mark and still dealing with a tough anxiety and some mild dizziness and shortness of breath. Blood work cane out normal and ekg as well. For now , I’m just praying every night to get back to my normal self again soon. The more Severe side effects have went away but the anxiety is severe still.

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