Side effects of Azithromycin - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Side effects of Azithromycin


I see that quite a few of folks here take Azithromycin particularly in the winter months. I have severe COPD and brittle asthma and for the past couple of years it has been suggested that I take Azithromycin during the winter months to avoid exacerbations. I've put off taking it but after so many hospital admissions have decided to give it a whirl. Can anyone tell what to expect in terms of side effects?

Many thanks.

24 Replies

You look a sparky person 😁. Welcome to the group. Can't help you with your Azithromycin question I'm afraid but I'm sure someone here will.

Gladwyn in reply to Don-1931

Hi welcome 😀 I have severe emphysema and various other things. I haven't had a really

bad exacerbation since I started taking Azithromycin at least 3 years ago. I take it 3 times a week every week of the year with no side effects . I hope it works as well for you. 😄

SparkySW123 in reply to Gladwyn

Thanks for that reassurance, Gladwyn. Yes, my prob is the dreaded emphysema. Just been diagnosed with diabetes as well but the medics think it's steroid induced so a having a further blood test soon as I've managed to just take a maintenance dose of 5 mgs for the 6 weeks or so. x

Gladwyn in reply to SparkySW123

Fingers crossed things get sorted for you soon x

Hi SparkySW123 . 👋

I must agree with Don. You Look very Sparky!! 😁 I was on Azithromycyn up until my operation in July. It served me well with no ill effects. Everyone is different though and I think you'd have to try it to know. Best wishes,

Cas xx 🍀🍃🐛

I've been on azithromycin since feb 2019 and had no dverse side effects , in fact it's so far knocked my chest infections down from around 5-6 a year to 1 , although the drug isnt licenced for use like this but so far everyone who's using it I know has had no problems and have noticed an improvement, give it a go and see how it works ( or not) for you .

My thanks to both Caspiana and soulboy118. I'm not so nervous now about taking it! Have had some bad experiences with new drugs so try to avoid them when possible! xx

I have been on Azithromycin for 3 years but I take it all year round with no side effects.

I have severe COPD and have no side effects. Also no exacerbations for a few years now. It is certainly worth taking. Good luck

Most of the winter takers of Azith take it on 3 out of 7 days a week. My gp says Sun, Tues & Fri - at least that was last year! Hoping he'll allow it this winter because it prevented any chronic infections last time round allowing me to have a far better existence. No ill effects for me on 3 x weekly 250mgs.

I used to be given it for infections at 500mg dose I'd sometimes get a runny tum but that's the case for several antibiotics.

Good luck with it sparky

SparkySW123 in reply to peege

My thanks to you all for your positive comments. So helpful! I managed to get through to my consultant's secretary earlier (and that was a miracle!) and been told that I shall probably need another blood test to make sure it's still okay for me to take. She's back next week so hopefully will hear.

Am wondering whether anyone takes a probiotic as well to restore all the good bacteria that an antibiotic removes.?

peege in reply to SparkySW123

Oh yes, most definitely. I take a low dose all year so mod than double it in winter up to 20 billion. I get mine from Healthspan, good quality and come free by post.

James48 in reply to SparkySW123

Azithromycin works well for me too - 500mg, 3 times a week. I take Multibionta over 50s probiotics every day.

Meme50 in reply to peege

I get very edgy in Winter. Thank you for this info.

I have taken Azithromycin 3 times weekly since ast year.havent noticed any side effects attributable to it


I personally have no side effects with Azithromycin. But I take so many different drugs for my many and varied health problems, would I realize what caused any side effects I might have? :-) I have Bronchiectasis and Asthma among other non lung things.

I have been taking them 3 days a week for a year. Had an annual visit from a respiratory nurse this week and she was pleased that I had no infections in that time and was able to have my oxygen reduced from 2L to 1L and don’t need to take my Ventolin as often. Hope they work as well as you.

I have just started Azithromycin in September . I was reluctant at first but my aim is Quality of life and if it stops or reduces infections then I will be happy. I live for the day and hopefully will continue to be active xSheila.

Hi, I’ve been taking azith three times a week, and haven’t had a chest infection for at least two years. The only side effect is that it’s affected my hearing, and I now wear a hearing aid in one ear for mild/moderate deafness. However, I would rather be a bit deaf than not be able to breathe well, so I put up with it!

Been taking azithmycin for about 15 years only bad time is wen I stoped it myself for a couple of weeks soon went back to it

Great to read all your comments and I appreciate the time you've all taken to reply. Will let you know how things go. Thank you. x

I have bveen taking it for the last 3 years with no apparent side effects but I have not had a Hospital admission other than for nose bleeds and such since taking it.

hi i take arithyromicyn and you need to look out for hearing loss, and i also have to have a monthly liver function test, i am on 3 tabs a week for future, and also carry a rescue pack of antibiotics and inhalers. I am fine and can see some benefit. You may need a mucus buster if that is a problem . Keep happy and take care x


I had no side effects but after three years taking it three times a week my liver decided it didn’t like it any more so I had to stop taking it tried roflumilast which just made me ill however whilst taking azithromycin I was great didn’t suffer exacerbations and really made me feel ok

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