AzaSite

Generic Name: azithromycin (Ophthalmic route)

ay-zith-roe-MYE-sin

Commonly used brand name(s):

In the U.S.

  • AzaSite

Available Dosage Forms:

  • Solution

Therapeutic Class: Antibiotic

Chemical Class: Macrolide

Uses For AzaSite

Azithromycin belongs to a group of medicines called macrolide antibiotics. The azithromycin ophthalmic (eye) preparation is used to treat infections of the eye, such as bacterial conjunctivitis. This medicine works by killing certain bacteria that cause conjunctivitis .

This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription .

Before Using AzaSite

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Pediatric

Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of ophthalmic azithromycin in children younger than 1 year of age. Safety and efficacy have not been established .

Geriatric

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatrics-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of ophthalmic azithromycin in the elderly .

Interactions with Medicines

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your healthcare professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.

Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Proper Use of AzaSite

To use the eye drops:

  • First, wash your hands. Then turn the closed bottle upside down and shake it one time before putting the medicine in your eye. Remove the cap with the bottle still being held upside down.
  • Tilt your head back and, pressing your finger gently on the skin just beneath the lower eyelid, pull the lower eyelid away from the eye to make a space. Drop the medicine into this space. Let go of the eyelid and gently close the eye. Do not blink. Keep the eye closed for 1 or 2 minutes to allow the medicine to be absorbed .
  • If you think you did not get the drop of medicine into your eye properly, use another drop .
  • To keep the medicine as germ-free as possible, do not touch the applicator tip to any surface (including the eye). Also, keep the container tightly closed .

To help clear up your eye infection completely, keep using this medicine for the full treatment time, even if you feel better after the first few doses. Your infection may not clear up if you stop using the medicine too soon .

Dosing

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For ophthalmic dosage form (eye drops):
    • For bacterial conjunctivitis:
      • Adults and children 1 year of age and older—Put one drop in the affected eye two times a day for 2 days, with each dose being at least eight to twelve hours apart. Then, put one drop in the affected eye once a day for the next five days.
      • Infants and children younger than 1 year of age—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor .

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Store the unopened bottle in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. Once the medicine is opened, you may store it in the refrigerator or in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light for up to 14 days .

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. Discard any leftover medicine after 14 days .

Precautions While Using AzaSite

If your eye infection does not improve within a few days, or if it becomes worse, check with your doctor .

Do not wear contact lenses while you are using this medicine to avoid further eye irritation .

AzaSite Side Effects

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Less common
  • Burning, redness, stinging, or other eye irritation
Rare
  • Blistering, burning, crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
  • cough
  • discharge from the eye
  • fever
  • headache
  • itching, scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
  • pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
  • painful irritation of the clear front part of the eye
  • shortness of breath or troubled breathing
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • tightness of the chest or wheezing

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Rare
  • Change in taste
  • dry eyes
  • loss of taste

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

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  • AzaSite Consumer Overview
  • AzaSite Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Azasite Drops MedFacts Consumer Leaflet (Wolters Kluwer)