Azithromycin Oral Suspension

Name: Azithromycin Oral Suspension

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Azithromycin Oral Suspension?

  • If you have an allergy to azithromycin or any other part of azithromycin oral suspension.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Long QT on ECG, low magnesium levels, or low potassium levels.
  • If you have a slow heartbeat, talk with your doctor.
  • If you have turned yellow or had liver side effects with this medicine before.
  • If you are taking any drugs that can cause a certain type of heartbeat that is not normal (prolonged QT interval). There are many drugs that can do this. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with azithromycin oral suspension.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this medicine with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

How is this medicine (Azithromycin Oral Suspension) best taken?

Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Do not take antacids within 2 hours of azithromycin oral suspension.
  • To gain the most benefit, do not miss doses.
  • Keep taking this medicine as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well.
  • Shake well before use.
  • Measure liquid doses carefully. Use the measuring device that comes with azithromycin oral suspension. If there is none, ask the pharmacist for a device to measure this medicine.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about this medicine, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take azithromycin oral suspension or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to azithromycin oral suspension. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

Review Date: October 4, 2017

Warnings and Precautions

Hypersensitivity

Serious allergic reactions, including angioedema, anaphylaxis, and dermatologic reactions including Acute Generalized Exanthematous Pustulosis (AGEP), Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis have been reported in patients on azithromycin therapy [see Contraindications (4.1)].

Fatalities have been reported. Cases of Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms (DRESS) have also been reported. Despite initially successful symptomatic treatment of the allergic symptoms, when symptomatic therapy was discontinued, the allergic symptoms recurred soon thereafter in some patients without further azithromycin exposure. These patients required prolonged periods of observation and symptomatic treatment. The relationship of these episodes to the long tissue half-life of azithromycin and subsequent prolonged exposure to antigen is presently unknown.

If an allergic reaction occurs, the drug should be discontinued and appropriate therapy should be instituted. Physicians should be aware that allergic symptoms may reappear when symptomatic therapy has been discontinued.

Hepatotoxicity

Abnormal liver function, hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, hepatic necrosis, and hepatic failure have been reported, some of which have resulted in death. Discontinue azithromycin immediately if signs and symptoms of hepatitis occur.

Infantile Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis (IHPS)

Following the use of azithromycin in neonates (treatment up to 42 days of life), IHPS has been reported. Direct parents and caregivers to contact their physician if vomiting or irritability with feeding occurs.

QT Prolongation

Prolonged cardiac repolarization and QT interval, imparting a risk of developing cardiac arrhythmia and torsades de pointes, have been seen with treatment with macrolides, including azithromycin. Cases of torsades de pointes have been spontaneously reported during postmarketing surveillance in patients receiving azithromycin. Providers should consider the risk of QT prolongation which can be fatal when weighing the risks and benefits of azithromycin for at-risk groups including:

• patients with known prolongation of the QT interval, a history of torsades de pointes, congenital long QT syndrome, bradyarrhythmias or uncompensated heart failure • patients on drugs known to prolong the QT interval • patients with ongoing proarrhythmic conditions such as uncorrected hypokalemia or hypomagnesemia, clinically significant bradycardia, and in patients receiving Class IA (quinidine, procainamide) or Class III (dofetilide, amiodarone, sotalol) antiarrhythmic agents.

Elderly patients may be more susceptible to drug-associated effects on the QT interval.

Clostridium difficile-Associated Diarrhea (CDAD)

Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea has been reported with use of nearly all antibacterial agents, including azithromycin, and may range in severity from mild diarrhea to fatal colitis. Treatment with antibacterial agents alters the normal flora of the colon, leading to overgrowth of C. difficile.

C. difficile produces toxins A and B which contribute to the development of CDAD. Hypertoxin producing strains of C. difficile cause increased morbidity and mortality, as these infections can be refractory to antibacterial therapy and may require colectomy. CDAD must be considered in all patients who present with diarrhea following antibiotic use. Careful medical history is necessary since CDAD has been reported to occur over two months after the administration of antibacterial agents.

If CDAD is suspected or confirmed, ongoing antibiotic use not directed against C. difficile may need to be discontinued. Appropriate fluid and electrolyte management, protein supplementation, antibiotic treatment of C. difficile, and surgical evaluation should be instituted as clinically indicated.

Exacerbation of Myasthenia Gravis

Exacerbation of symptoms of myasthenia gravis and new onset of myasthenic syndrome have been reported in patients receiving azithromycin therapy.

Use in Sexually Transmitted Infections

Azithromycin, at the recommended dose, should not be relied upon to treat syphilis. Antibacterial agents used to treat non-gonococcal urethritis may mask or delay the symptoms of incubating syphilis. All patients with sexually transmitted urethritis or cervicitis should have a serologic test for syphilis and appropriate testing for gonorrhea performed at the time of diagnosis. Appropriate antibacterial therapy and follow-up tests for these diseases should be initiated if infection is confirmed.

Development of Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Prescribing azithromycin in the absence of a proven or strongly suspected bacterial infection is unlikely to provide benefit to the patient and increases the risk of the development of drug-resistant bacteria.

Adverse Reactions

Clinical Trials Experience

Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

In clinical trials, most of the reported side effects were mild to moderate in severity and were reversible upon discontinuation of the drug. Potentially serious adverse reactions of angioedema and cholestatic jaundice were reported. Approximately 0.7% of the patients (adults and pediatric patients) from the 5 day multiple-dose clinical trials discontinued azithromycin therapy because of treatment-related adverse reactions. In adults given 500 mg/day for 3 days, the discontinuation rate due to treatment-related adverse reactions was 0.6%. In clinical trials in pediatric patients given 30 mg/kg, either as a single dose or over 3 days, discontinuation from the trials due to treatment-related adverse reactions was approximately 1%. Most of the adverse reactions leading to discontinuation were related to the gastrointestinal tract, e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain [see Clinical Studies (14.2)].

Adults

Multiple-dose regimens: Overall, the most common treatment-related adverse reactions in adult patients receiving multiple-dose regimens of azithromycin were related to the gastrointestinal system with diarrhea/loose stools (4 to 5%), nausea (3%), and abdominal pain (2 to 3%) being the most frequently reported.

No other adverse reactions occurred in patients on the multiple-dose regimens of azithromycin with a frequency greater than 1%. Adverse reactions that occurred with a frequency of 1% or less included the following:

Cardiovascular: Palpitations, chest pain.

Gastrointestinal: Dyspepsia, flatulence, vomiting, melena, and cholestatic jaundice.

Genitourinary: Monilia, vaginitis, and nephritis.

Nervous System: Dizziness, headache, vertigo, and somnolence.

General: Fatigue.

Allergic: Rash, pruritus, photosensitivity, and angioedema.

Single 1 gram dose regimen:

Overall, the most common adverse reactions in patients receiving a single-dose regimen of 1 gram of azithromycin were related to the gastrointestinal system and were more frequently reported than in patients receiving the multiple-dose regimen.

Adverse reactions that occurred in patients on the single 1 gram dosing regimen of azithromycin with a frequency of 1% or greater included diarrhea/loose stools (7%), nausea (5%), abdominal pain (5%), vomiting (2%), dyspepsia (1%), and vaginitis (1%).

Single 2 gram dose regimen:

Overall, the most common adverse reactions in patients receiving a single 2 gram dose of azithromycin were related to the gastrointestinal system. Adverse reactions that occurred in patients in this study with a frequency of 1% or greater included nausea (18%), diarrhea/loose stools (14%), vomiting (7%), abdominal pain (7%), vaginitis (2%), dyspepsia (1%), and dizziness (1%). The majority of these complaints were mild in nature.

Pediatric Patients

Single and Multiple-dose regimens: The types of adverse reactions in pediatric patients were comparable to those seen in adults, with different incidence rates for the dosage regimens recommended in pediatric patients.

Acute Otitis Media: For the recommended total dosage regimen of 30 mg/kg, the most frequent adverse reactions (≥ 1%) attributed to treatment were diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and rash [see Dosage and Administration (2) and Clinical Studies (14.2)].

The incidence, based on dosing regimen, is described in the table below:

Dosage Regimen

Diarrhea %

Abdominal Pain %

Vomiting %

Nausea %

Rash %

1 day

4.3%

1.4%

4.9%

1%

1%

3 day

2.6%

1.7%

2.3%

0.4%

0.6%

5 day

1.8%

1.2%

1.1%

0.5%

0.4%

Community-Acquired Pneumonia: For the recommended dosage regimen of 10 mg/kg on Day 1 followed by 5 mg/kg on Days 2 to 5, the most frequent adverse reactions attributed to treatment were diarrhea/loose stools, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, and rash.

The incidence is described in the table below:

Dosage Regimen

Diarrhea/Loose stools %

Abdominal Pain %

Vomiting %

Nausea %

Rash %

5 day

5.8%

1.9%

1.9%

1.9%

1.6%

Pharyngitis/Tonsillitis: For the recommended dosage regimen of 12 mg/kg on Days 1 to 5, the most frequent adverse reactions attributed to treatment were diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, and headache.

The incidence is described in the table below:

Dosage Regimen

Diarrhea %

Abdominal Pain %

Vomiting %

Nausea %

Rash %

Headache %

5 day

5.4%

3.4%

5.6%

1.8%

0.7%

1.1%

With any of the treatment regimens, no other adverse reactions occurred in pediatric patients treated with azithromycin with a frequency greater than 1%. Adverse reactions that occurred with a frequency of 1% or less included the following:

Cardiovascular: Chest pain.

Gastrointestinal: Dyspepsia, constipation, anorexia, enteritis, flatulence, gastritis, jaundice, loose stools, and oral moniliasis.

Hematologic and Lymphatic: Anemia and leukopenia.

Nervous System: Headache (otitis media dosage), hyperkinesia, dizziness, agitation, nervousness, and insomnia.

General: Fever, face edema, fatigue, fungal infection, malaise, and pain.

Allergic: Rash and allergic reaction.

Respiratory: Cough, pharyngitis, pleural effusion, and rhinitis.

Skin and Appendages: Eczema, fungal dermatitis, pruritus, sweating, urticaria, and vesiculobullous rash.

Special Senses: Conjunctivitis.

Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of azithromycin. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

Adverse reactions reported with azithromycin during the postmarketing period in adult and/or pediatric patients for which a causal relationship may not be established include:

Allergic: Arthralgia, edema, urticaria, and angioedema.

Cardiovascular: Arrhythmias including ventricular tachycardia and hypotension. There have been reports of QT prolongation and torsades de pointes.

Gastrointestinal: Anorexia, constipation, dyspepsia, flatulence, vomiting/diarrhea, pseudomembranous colitis, pancreatitis, oral candidiasis, pyloric stenosis, and reports of tongue discoloration.

General: Asthenia, paresthesia, fatigue, malaise, and anaphylaxis.

Genitourinary: Interstitial nephritis and acute renal failure and vaginitis.

Hematopoietic: Thrombocytopenia.

Liver/Biliary: Abnormal liver function, hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, hepatic necrosis, and hepatic failure [see Warnings and Precautions (5.2)].

Nervous System: Convulsions, dizziness/vertigo, headache, somnolence, hyperactivity, nervousness, agitation, and syncope.

Psychiatric: Aggressive reaction and anxiety.

Skin/Appendages: Pruritus, serious skin reactions including erythema multiforme, AGEP, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and DRESS.

Special Senses: Hearing disturbances including hearing loss, deafness and/or tinnitus, and reports of taste/smell perversion and/or loss.

Laboratory Abnormalities

Adults:

Clinically significant abnormalities (irrespective of drug relationship) occurring during the clinical trials were reported as follows: with an incidence of greater than 1%: decreased hemoglobin, hematocrit, lymphocytes, neutrophils, and blood glucose; elevated serum creatine phosphokinase, potassium, ALT, GGT, AST, BUN, creatinine, blood glucose, platelet count, lymphocytes, neutrophils, and eosinophils; with an incidence of less than 1%: leukopenia, neutropenia, decreased sodium, potassium, platelet count, elevated monocytes, basophils, bicarbonate, serum alkaline phosphatase, bilirubin, LDH, and phosphate. The majority of subjects with elevated serum creatinine also had abnormal values at baseline. When follow-up was provided, changes in laboratory tests appeared to be reversible.

In multiple-dose clinical trials involving more than 5000 patients, four patients discontinued therapy because of treatment-related liver enzyme abnormalities and one because of a renal function abnormality.

Pediatric Patients:

One, Three, and Five Day Regimens

Laboratory data collected from comparative clinical trials employing two 3 day regimens (30 mg/kg or 60 mg/kg in divided doses over 3 days), or two 5 day regimens (30 mg/kg or 60 mg/kg in divided doses over 5 days) were similar for regimens of azithromycin and all comparators combined, with most clinically significant laboratory abnormalities occurring at incidences of 1 to 5%. Laboratory data for patients receiving 30 mg/kg as a single dose were collected in one single center trial. In that trial, an absolute neutrophil count between 500 to 1500 cells/mm3 was observed in 10/64 patients receiving 30 mg/kg as a single dose, 9/62 patients receiving 30 mg/kg given over 3 days, and 8/63 comparator patients. No patient had an absolute neutrophil count < 500 cells/mm3.

In multiple-dose clinical trials involving approximately 4700 pediatric patients, no patients discontinued therapy because of treatment-related laboratory abnormalities.

Azithromycin Oral Suspension - Clinical Pharmacology

Mechanism of Action

Azithromycin is a macrolide antibacterial drug [see Microbiology (12.4)].

Pharmacodynamics

Based on animal models of infection, the antibacterial activity of azithromycin appears to correlate with the ratio of area under the concentration-time curve to minimum inhibitory concentration (AUC/MIC) for certain pathogens (S. pneumoniae and S. aureus). The principal pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic parameter best associated with clinical and microbiological cure has not been elucidated in clinical trials with azithromycin.

Cardiac Electrophysiology

QTc interval prolongation was studied in a randomized, placebo-controlled parallel trial in 116 healthy subjects who received either chloroquine (1000 mg) alone or in combination with oral azithromycin (500 mg, 1000 mg, and 1500 mg once daily). Coadministration of azithromycin increased the QTc interval in a dose- and concentration-dependent manner. In comparison to chloroquine alone, the maximum mean (95% upper confidence bound) increases in QTcF were 5 (10) ms, 7 (12) ms and 9 (14) ms with the coadministration of 500 mg, 1000 mg and 1500 mg azithromycin, respectively.

Pharmacokinetics

Following oral administration of a single 500 mg dose (two 250 mg tablets) to 36 fasted healthy male volunteers, the mean (SD) pharmacokinetic parameters were AUC0-72 = 4.3 (1.2) mcg·hr/mL; Cmax = 0.5 (0.2) mcg/mL; Tmax = 2.2 (0.9) hours. Two azithromycin 250 mg tablets are bioequivalent to a single 500 mg tablet.

In a two-way crossover study, 12 adult healthy volunteers (6 males, 6 females) received 1500 mg of azithromycin administered in single daily doses over either 5 days (two 250 mg tablets on day 1, followed by one 250 mg tablet on days 2 to 5) or 3 days (500 mg per day for days 1 to 3). Due to limited serum samples on day 2 (3 day regimen) and days 2 to 4 (5 day regimen), the serum concentration-time profile of each subject was fit to a 3 compartment model and the AUC0-∞ for the fitted concentration profile was comparable between the 5 day and 3 day regimens.

3 Day Regimen

5 Day Regimen

Pharmacokinetic Parameter [mean (SD)]

Day 1

Day 3

Day 1

Day 5

Cmax (serum, mcg/mL)

0.44 (0.22)

0.54 (0.25)

0.43 (0.20)

0.24 (0.06)

Serum AUC0-∞ (mcg·hr/mL)

17.4 (6.2)*

14.9 (3.1)*

Serum T1/2

71.8 hr

68.9 hr

  *Total AUC for the entire 3 day and 5 day regimens.


Absorption

The absolute bioavailability of azithromycin 250 mg capsules is 38%.

In a two-way crossover study in which 12 healthy subjects received a single 500 mg dose of azithromycin (two 250 mg tablets) with or without a high fat meal, food was shown to increase Cmax by 23% but had no effect on AUC.

When Azithromycin Oral Suspension was administered with food to 28 adult healthy male subjects, Cmax increased by 56% and AUC was unchanged.

Distribution

The serum protein binding of azithromycin is variable in the concentration range approximating human exposure, decreasing from 51% at 0.02 mcg/mL to 7% at 2 mcg/mL.

The antibacterial activity of azithromycin is pH related and appears to be reduced with decreasing pH, however, the extensive distribution of drug to tissues may be relevant to clinical activity.

Azithromycin has been shown to penetrate into human tissues, including skin, lung, tonsil, and cervix. Extensive tissue distribution was confirmed by examination of additional tissues and fluids (bone, ejaculum, prostate, ovary, uterus, salpinx, stomach, liver, and gallbladder). As there are no data from adequate and well-controlled studies of azithromycin treatment of infections in these additional body sites, the clinical significance of these tissue concentration data is unknown.

Following a regimen of 500 mg on the first day and 250 mg daily for 4 days, very low concentrations were noted in cerebrospinal fluid (less than 0.01 mcg/mL) in the presence of noninflamed meninges.

Metabolism

In vitro and in vivo studies to assess the metabolism of azithromycin have not been performed.

Elimination

Plasma concentrations of azithromycin following single 500 mg oral and IV doses declined in a polyphasic pattern resulting in a mean apparent plasma clearance of 630 mL/min and terminal elimination half-life of 68 hr. The prolonged terminal half-life is thought to be due to extensive uptake and subsequent release of drug from tissues. Biliary excretion of azithromycin, predominantly as unchanged drug, is a major route of elimination. Over the course of a week, approximately 6% of the administered dose appears as unchanged drug in urine.

Specific Populations

Renal Insufficiency

Azithromycin pharmacokinetics was investigated in 42 adults (21 to 85 years of age) with varying degrees of renal impairment. Following the oral administration of a single 1 g dose of azithromycin (4 x 250 mg capsules), mean Cmax and AUC0-120 increased by 5.1% and 4.2%, respectively, in subjects with mild to moderate renal impairment (GFR 10 to 80 mL/min) compared to subjects with normal renal function (GFR > 80 mL/min). The mean Cmax and AUC0-120 increased 61% and 35%, respectively, in subjects with severe renal impairment (GFR < 10 mL/min) compared to subjects with normal renal function (GFR > 80 mL/min).

Hepatic Insufficiency

The pharmacokinetics of azithromycin in subjects with hepatic impairment has not been established.

Gender

There are no significant differences in the disposition of azithromycin between male and female subjects. No dosage adjustment is recommended based on gender.

Geriatric Patients

Pharmacokinetic parameters in older volunteers (65 to 85 years old) were similar to those in young adults (18 to 40 years old) for the 5 day therapeutic regimen. Dosage adjustment does not appear to be necessary for older patients with normal renal and hepatic function receiving treatment with this dosage regimen [see Geriatric Use (8.5)].

Pediatric Patients

In two clinical studies, azithromycin for oral suspension was dosed at 10 mg/kg on day 1, followed by 5 mg/kg on days 2 through 5 in two groups of pediatric patients (aged 1 to 5 years and 5 to 15 years, respectively). The mean pharmacokinetic parameters on day 5 were Cmax = 0.216 mcg/mL, Tmax = 1.9 hr, and AUC0-24 = 1.822 mcg·hr/mL for the 1 to 5 year-old group and were Cmax = 0.383 mcg/mL, Tmax = 2.4 hr, and AUC0-24 = 3.109 mcg·hr/mL for the 5 to 15 year-old group.

In another study, 33 pediatric patients received doses of 12 mg/kg/day (maximum daily dose 500 mg) for 5 days, of whom 31 patients were evaluated for azithromycin pharmacokinetics following a low fat breakfast. In this study, azithromycin concentrations were determined over a 24 hr period following the last daily dose. Patients weighing above 41.7 kg received the maximum adult daily dose of 500 mg. Seventeen patients (weighing 41.7 kg or less) received a total dose of 60 mg/kg. The following table shows pharmacokinetic data in the subset of pediatric patients who received a total dose of 60 mg/kg.

Pharmacokinetic Parameter [mean (SD)]

5 Day Regimen (12 mg/kg for 5 days)

N

17

Cmax (mcg/mL)

0.5 (0.4)

Tmax (hr)

2.2 (0.8)

AUC0-24(mcg·hr/mL)

3.9 (1.9)

Single dose pharmacokinetics of azithromycin in pediatric patients given doses of 30 mg/kg have not been studied [see Dosage and Administration (2)].

Drug interaction studies were performed with azithromycin and other drugs likely to be coadministered. The effects of coadministration of azithromycin on the pharmacokinetics of other drugs are shown in Table 1 and the effects of other drugs on the pharmacokinetics of azithromycin are shown in Table 2.

Coadministration of azithromycin at therapeutic doses had a modest effect on the pharmacokinetics of the drugs listed in Table 1. No dosage adjustment of drugs listed in Table 1 is recommended when coadministered with azithromycin.

Coadministration of azithromycin with efavirenz or fluconazole had a modest effect on the pharmacokinetics of azithromycin. Nelfinavir significantly increased the Cmax and AUC of azithromycin. No dosage adjustment of azithromycin is recommended when administered with drugs listed in Table 2[see Drug Interactions (7.3)].

Table 1. Drug Interactions: Pharmacokinetic Parameters for Coadministered Drugs in the Presence of Azithromycin

Coadministered Drug

Dose of Coadministered Drug

Dose of Azithromycin

n

Ratio (with/without azithromycin) of Coadministered Drug Pharmacokinetic Parameters (90% CI); No Effect = 1

Mean Cmax

Mean AUC

Atorvastatin

10 mg/day for 8 days

500 mg/day orally on days 6 to 8

12

0.83

(0.63 to 1.08)

1.01

(0.81 to 1.25)

Carbamazepine

200 mg/day for 2 days, then 200 mg twice a day for 18 days

500 mg/day orally for days 16 to 18

7

0.97

(0.88 to 1.06)

0.96

(0.88 to 1.06)

Cetirizine

20 mg/day for 11 days

500 mg orally on day 7, then 250 mg/day on days 8 to 11

14

1.03

(0.93 to 1.14)

1.02

(0.92 to 1.13)

Didanosine

200 mg orally twice a day for 21 days

1200 mg/day orally on days 8 to 21

6

1.44

(0.85 to 2.43)

1.14

(0.83 to 1.57)

Efavirenz

400 mg/day for 7 days

600 mg orally on day 7

14

1.04*

0.95*

Fluconazole

200 mg orally single dose

1200 mg orally single dose

18

1.04

(0.98 to 1.11)

1.01

(0.97 to 1.05)

Indinavir

800 mg three times a day for 5 days

1200 mg orally on day 5

18

0.96

(0.86 to 1.08)

0.90

(0.81 to 1)

Midazolam

15 mg orally on day 3

500 mg/day orally for 3 days

12

1.27

(0.89 to 1.81)

1.26

(1.01 to 1.56)

Nelfinavir

750 mg three times a day for 11 days

1200 mg orally on day 9

14

0.90

(0.81 to 1.01)

0.85

(0.78 to 0.93)

Sildenafil

100 mg on days 1 and 4

500 mg/day orally for 3 days

12

1.16

(0.86 to 1.57)

0.92

(0.75 to 1.12)

Theophylline

4 mg/kg IV on days 1, 11, 25

500 mg orally on day 7, 250 mg/day on days 8 to 11

10

1.19

(1.02 to 1.40)

1.02

(0.86 to 1.22)

Theophylline

300 mg orally twice a day for 15 days

500 mg orally on day 6, then 250 mg/day on days 7 to 10

8

1.09

(0.92 to 1.29)

1.08

(0.89 to 1.31)

Triazolam

0.125 mg on day 2

500 mg orally on day 1, then 250 mg/day on day 2

12

1.06*

1.02*

Trimethoprim/ Sulfamethoxazole

160 mg/800 mg/day orally for 7 days

1200 mg orally on day 7

12

0.85

(0.75 to 0.97)/
0.90

(0.78 to 1.03)

0.87

(0.80 to 0.95)/ 0.96

(0.88 to 1.03)

Zidovudine

500 mg/day orally for 21 days

600 mg/day orally for 14 days

5

1.12

(0.42 to 3.02)

0.94

(0.52 to 1.70)

Zidovudine

500 mg/day orally for 21 days

1200 mg/day orally for 14 days

4

1.31

(0.43 to 3.97)

1.30

(0.69 to 2.43)

* -90% Confidence interval not reported

Table 2. Drug Interactions: Pharmacokinetic Parameters for Azithromycin in the Presence of Coadministered Drugs [see Drug Interactions (7)].

Coadministered Drug

Dose of Coadministered Drug

Dose of Azithromycin

n

Ratio (with/without coadministered drug) of Azithromycin Pharmacokinetic Parameters (90% CI); No Effect = 1

Mean Cmax

Mean AUC

Efavirenz

400 mg/day for 7 days

600 mg orally on day 7

14

1.22

(1.04 to 1.42)

0.92*

Fluconazole

200 mg orally single dose

1200 mg orally single dose

18

0.82

(0.66 to 1.02)

1.07

(0.94 to 1.22)

Nelfinavir

750 mg three times a day for 11 days

1200 mg orally on day 9

14

2.36

(1.77 to 3.15)

2.12

(1.80 to 2.50)

* -90% Confidence interval not reported

Microbiology

Mechanism of Action

Azithromycin acts by binding to the 23S rRNA of the 50S ribosomal subunit of susceptible microorganisms inhibiting bacterial protein synthesis and impeding the assembly of the 50S ribosomal subunit.

Resistance

Azithromycin demonstrates cross resistance with erythromycin. The most frequently encountered mechanism of resistance to azithromycin is modification of the 23S rRNA target, most often by methylation. Ribosomal modifications can determine cross resistance to other macrolides, lincosamides, and streptogramin B (MLSB phenotype).

Antimicrobial Activity

Azithromycin has been shown to be active against most isolates of the following microorganisms, both in vitro and in clinical infections [see Indications and Usage (1)].

Gram-Positive Bacteria

  Staphylococcus aureus   Streptococcus agalactiae   Streptococcus pneumoniae   Streptococcus pyogenes

Gram-Negative Bacteria

  Haemophilus ducreyi   Haemophilus influenzae   Moraxella catarrhalis   Neisseria gonorrhoeae

Other Bacteria

  Chlamydophila pneumoniae   Chlamydia trachomatis   Mycoplasma pneumoniae

The following in vitro data are available, but their clinical significance is unknown. At least 90 percent of the following bacteria exhibit an in vitro minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) less than or equal to the susceptible breakpoint for azithromycin against isolates of similar genus or organism group. However, the efficacy of azithromycin in treating clinical infections caused by these bacteria has not been established in adequate and well-controlled clinical trials.

  Gram-Positive Bacteria   Beta-hemolytic streptococci (Groups C, F, G)   Viridans group streptococci

Gram-Negative Bacteria

  Bordetella pertussis   Legionella pneumophila

Anaerobic Bacteria

  Prevotella bivia   Peptostreptococcus species

Other Bacteria

  Ureaplasma urealyticum

Susceptibility Testing Methods

When available, the clinical microbiology laboratory should provide cumulative reports of in vitro susceptibility test results for antibacterial drugs used in local hospitals and practice areas to the physician as periodic reports that describe the susceptibility profile of nosocomial and community-acquired pathogens. These reports should aid the physician in selecting an antibacterial drug for treatment.

Dilution Techniques

Quantitative methods are used to determine antimicrobial MICs. These MICs provide estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antibacterial compounds. The MICs should be determined using a standardized test method1,2,3,4 (broth and/or agar). The MIC values should be interpreted according to criteria provided in Table 3.

Diffusion Techniques

Quantitative methods that require measurement of zone diameters can also provide reproducible estimates of the susceptibility of bacteria to antibacterial compounds. The zone size should be determined using a standardized method2,3,4. This procedure uses paper disk impregnated with 15 mcg azithromycin to test the susceptibility of bacteria to azithromycin. The disk diffusion breakpoints are provided in Table 3.

Table 3. Susceptibility Test Interpretive Criteria for Azithromycin

Pathogen

Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (mcg/mL)

Disk Diffusion (zone diameter in mm)

S

I

R

S

I

R

Haemophilus influenzaea

≤ 4

-

-

≥ 12

Staphylococcus aureus

≤ 2

4

≥ 8

≥ 18

14 to 17

≤ 13

Streptococci including S. pneumoniae

≤ 0.5

1

≥ 2

≥ 18

14 to 17

≤ 13

Moraxella catarrhalisa

≤ 0.25

-

-

≥ 26

-

-

aInsufficient information is available to determine Intermediate or Resistant interpretive criteria

A report of Susceptible (S) indicates that the antimicrobial drug is likely to inhibit growth of the pathogen if the antimicrobial drug reaches the concentration usually achievable at the site of infection. A report of Intermediate (I) indicates that the result should be considered equivocal and, if the microorganism is not fully susceptible to alternative, clinically feasible drugs, the test should be repeated. This category implies possible clinical applicability in body sites where the drug is physiologically concentrated or in situations where a high dosage of the drug can be used. This category also provides a buffer zone that prevents small uncontrolled technical factors from causing major discrepancies in interpretation. A report of Resistant (R) indicates that the antimicrobial drug is not likely to inhibit growth of the pathogen if the antimicrobial drug reaches the concentrations usually achievable at the infection site; other therapy should be selected.

Quality Control

Standardized susceptibility test procedures require the use of laboratory controls to monitor and ensure the accuracy and precision of supplies and reagents used in the assay, and the techniques of the individuals performing the test1,2,3,4. Standard azithromycin powder should provide the following range of MIC values provided in Table 4. For the diffusion technique using the 15 mcg azithromycin disk the criteria provided in Table 4 should be achieved.

Table 4. Acceptable Quality Control Ranges for Susceptibility Testing

Quality Control Organism

Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations

(mcg/mL)

Disk Diffusion (zone diameters in mm)

Staphylococcus aureus

ATCC* 25923

Not Applicable

21 to 26

Staphylococcus aureus

ATCC 29213

0.5 to 2

Not Applicable

Haemophilus influenzae

ATCC 49247

1 to 4

13 to 21

Streptococcus pneumoniae

ATCC 49619

0.06 to 0.25

19 to 25

Neisseria gonorrhoeae

ATCC 49226

0.25 to 1

Not Applicable

*ATCC = American Type Culture Collection

Nonclinical Toxicology

Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Long-term studies in animals have not been performed to evaluate carcinogenic potential. Azithromycin has shown no mutagenic potential in standard laboratory tests: mouse lymphoma assay, human lymphocyte clastogenic assay, and mouse bone marrow clastogenic assay. No evidence of impaired fertility due to azithromycin was found in rats given daily doses up to 10 mg/kg (approximately 0.2 times an adult daily dose of 500 mg based on body surface area).

Animal Toxicology and/or Pharmacology

Phospholipidosis (intracellular phospholipid accumulation) has been observed in some tissues of mice, rats, and dogs given multiple doses of azithromycin. It has been demonstrated in numerous organ systems (e.g., eye, dorsal root ganglia, liver, gallbladder, kidney, spleen, and/or pancreas) in dogs and rats treated with azithromycin at doses which, expressed on the basis of body surface area, are similar to or less than the highest recommended adult human dose. This effect has been shown to be reversible after cessation of azithromycin treatment. Based on the pharmacokinetic data, phospholipidosis has been seen in the rat (50 mg/kg/day dose) at the observed maximal plasma concentration of 1.3 mcg/mL (1.6 times the observed Cmax of 0.821 mcg/mL at the adult dose of 2 g). Similarly, it has been shown in the dog (10 mg/kg/day dose) at the observed maximal serum concentration of 1 mcg/mL (1.2 times the observed Cmax of 0.821 mcg/mL at the adult dose of 2 g). Phospholipidosis was also observed in neonatal rats dosed for 18 days at 30 mg/kg/day, which is less than the pediatric dose of 60 mg/kg based on the surface area. It was not observed in neonatal rats treated for 10 days at 40 mg/kg/day with mean maximal serum concentrations of 1.86 mcg/mL, approximately 1.5 times the Cmax of 1.27 mcg/mL at the pediatric dose. Phospholipidosis has been observed in neonatal dogs (10 mg/kg/day) at maximum mean whole blood concentrations of 3.54 mcg/mL, approximately 3 times the pediatric dose Cmax. The significance of these findings for animals and for humans is unknown.

Clinical Studies

Adult Patients

Acute Bacterial Exacerbations of Chronic Bronchitis

In a randomized, double-blind controlled clinical trial of acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis (AECB), azithromycin (500 mg once daily for 3 days) was compared with clarithromycin (500 mg twice daily for 10 days). The primary endpoint of this trial was the clinical cure rate at Days 21 to 24. For the 304 patients analyzed in the modified intent-to-treat analysis at the Days 21 to 24 visit, the clinical cure rate for 3 days of azithromycin was 85% (125/147) compared to 82% (129/157) for 10 days of clarithromycin.

The following outcomes were the clinical cure rates at the Days 21 to 24 visit for the bacteriologically evaluable patients by pathogen:

Pathogen

Azithromycin (3 Days)

Clarithromycin (10 Days)

S. pneumoniae

29/32 (91%)

21/27 (78%)

H. influenzae

12/14 (86%)

14/16 (88%)

M. catarrhalis

11/12 (92%)

12/15 (80%)

Acute Bacterial Sinusitis

In a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy controlled clinical trial of acute bacterial sinusitis, azithromycin (500 mg once daily for 3 days) was compared with amoxicillin/clavulanate (500/125 mg three times a day for 10 days). Clinical response assessments were made at Day 10 and Day 28. The primary endpoint of this trial was prospectively defined as the clinical cure rate at Day 28. For the 594 patients analyzed in the modified intent to treat analysis at the Day 10 visit, the clinical cure rate for 3 days of azithromycin was 88% (268/303) compared to 85% (248/291) for 10 days of amoxicillin/clavulanate. For the 586 patients analyzed in the modified intent to treat analysis at the Day 28 visit, the clinical cure rate for 3 days of azithromycin was 71.5% (213/298) compared to 71.5% (206/288), with a 97.5% confidence interval of –8.4 to 8.3, for 10 days of amoxicillin/clavulanate.

In an open label, non-comparative study requiring baseline transantral sinus punctures, the following outcomes were the clinical success rates at the Day 7 and Day 28 visits for the modified intent to treat patients administered 500 mg of azithromycin once daily for 3 days with the following pathogens:

Clinical Success Rates of Azithromycin (500 mg per day for 3 Days)

Pathogen

Day 7

Day 28

S. pneumoniae

23/26 (88%)

21/25 (84%)

H. influenzae

28/32 (87%)

24/32 (75%)

M. catarrhalis

14/15 (93%)

13/15 (87%)

Pediatric Patients

From the perspective of evaluating pediatric clinical trials, Days 11 to 14 were considered on-therapy evaluations because of the extended half-life of azithromycin. Days 11 to 14 data are provided for clinical guidance. Days 24 to 32 evaluations were considered the primary test of cure endpoint.

Pharyngitis/Tonsillitis

In three double-blind controlled studies, conducted in the United States, azithromycin (12 mg/kg once a day for 5 days) was compared to penicillin V (250 mg three times a day for 10 days) in the treatment of pharyngitis due to documented Group A β-hemolytic streptococci (GABHS or S. pyogenes). Azithromycin was clinically and microbiologically statistically superior to penicillin at Day 14 and Day 30 with the following clinical success (i.e., cure and improvement) and bacteriologic efficacy rates (for the combined evaluable patient with documented GABHS):

Three U.S. Streptococcal Pharyngitis Studies

Azithromycin vs. Penicillin V

EFFICACY RESULTS

Day 14

Day 30

Bacteriologic Eradication:

Azithromycin

323/340 (95%)

255/330 (77%)

Penicillin V

242/332 (73%)

206/325 (63%)

Clinical Success (cure plus improvement):

Azithromycin

336/343 (98%)

310/330 (94%)

Penicillin V

284/338 (84%)

241/325 (74%)

Approximately 1% of azithromycin-susceptible S. pyogenes isolates were resistant to azithromycin following therapy.

Acute Otitis Media

Efficacy using azithromycin given over 5 days (10 mg/kg on Day 1 followed by 5 mg/kg on Days 2 to 5).

Trial 1

In a double-blind, controlled clinical study of acute otitis media performed in the United States, azithromycin (10 mg/kg on Day 1 followed by 5 mg/kg on Days 2 to 5) was compared to amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium (4:1). For the 553 patients who were evaluated for clinical efficacy, the clinical success rate (i.e., cure plus improvement) at the Day 11 visit was 88% for azithromycin and 88% for the control agent. For the 521 patients who were evaluated at the Day 30 visit, the clinical success rate was 73% for azithromycin and 71% for the control agent.

Trial 2

In a non-comparative clinical and microbiologic trial performed in the United States, where significant rates of beta-lactamase producing organisms (35%) were found, 131 patients were evaluable for clinical efficacy. The combined clinical success rate (i.e., cure and improvement) at the Day 11 visit was 84% for azithromycin. For the 122 patients who were evaluated at the Day 30 visit, the clinical success rate was 70% for azithromycin.

Microbiologic determinations were made at the pre-treatment visit. Microbiology was not reassessed at later visits. The following clinical success rates were obtained from the evaluable group:

Pathogen

Day 11

Day 30

Azithromycin

Azithromycin

S. pneumoniae

61/74 (82%)

40/56 (71%)

H. influenzae

43/54 (80%)

30/47 (64%)

M. catarrhalis

28/35 (80%)

19/26 (73%)

S. pyogenes

11/11 (100%)

7/7 (100%)

Overall

177/217 (82%)

97/137 (73%)

Trial 3

In another controlled comparative clinical and microbiologic study of otitis media performed in the United States, azithromycin (10 mg/kg on Day 1 followed by 5 mg/kg on Days 2 to 5) was compared to amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium (4:1). This study utilized two of the same investigators as Protocol 2 (above), and these two investigators enrolled 90% of the patients in Protocol 3. For this reason, Protocol 3 was not considered to be an independent study. Significant rates of beta-lactamase producing organisms (20%) were found. Ninety-two (92) patients were evaluable for clinical and microbiologic efficacy. The combined clinical success rate (i.e., cure and improvement) of those patients with a baseline pathogen at the Day 11 visit was 88% for azithromycin vs. 100% for control; at the Day 30 visit, the clinical success rate was 82% for azithromycin vs. 80% for control.

Microbiologic determinations were made at the pre-treatment visit. Microbiology was not reassessed at later visits. At the Day 11 and Day 30 visits, the following clinical success rates were obtained from the evaluable group:

Day 11

Day 30

Pathogen

Azithromycin

Control

Azithromycin

Control

S. pneumoniae

25/29 (86%)

26/26 (100%)

22/28 (79%)

18/22 (82%)

H. influenzae

9/11 (82%)

9/9 (100%)

8/10 (80%)

6/8 (75%)

M. catarrhalis

7/7 (100%)

5/5 (100%)

5/5 (100%)

2/3 (66%)

S. pyogenes

2/2 (100%)

5/5 (100%)

2/2 (100%)

4/4 (100%)

Overall

43/49 (88%)

45/45 (100%)

37/45 (82%)

30/37 (81%)

Efficacy using azithromycin given over 3 days (10 mg/kg/day).

Trial 4

In a double-blind, controlled, randomized clinical study of acute otitis media in pediatric patients from 6 months to 12 years of age, azithromycin (10 mg/kg per day for 3 days) was compared to amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium (7:1) in divided doses q12h for 10 days. Each patient received active drug and placebo matched for the comparator.

For the 366 patients who were evaluated for clinical efficacy at the Day 12 visit, the clinical success rate (i.e., cure plus improvement) was 83% for azithromycin and 88% for the control agent. For the 362 patients who were evaluated at the Days 24 to 28 visit, the clinical success rate was 74% for azithromycin and 69% for the control agent.

Efficacy using azithromycin 30 mg/kg given as a single dose.

Trial 5

A double-blind, controlled, randomized trial was performed at nine clinical centers. Pediatric patients from 6 months to 12 years of age were randomized 1:1 to treatment with either azithromycin (given at 30 mg/kg as a single dose on Day 1) or amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium (7:1), divided q12h for 10 days. Each child received active drug, and placebo matched for the comparator.

Clinical response (Cure, Improvement, Failure) was evaluated at End of Therapy (Days 12 to 16) and Test of Cure (Days 28 to 32). Safety was evaluated throughout the trial for all treated subjects. For the 321 subjects who were evaluated at End of Treatment, the clinical success rate (cure plus improvement) was 87% for azithromycin, and 88% for the comparator. For the 305 subjects who were evaluated at Test of Cure, the clinical success rate was 75% for both azithromycin and the comparator.

Trial 6

In a non-comparative clinical and microbiological trial, 248 patients from 6 months to 12 years of age with documented acute otitis media were dosed with a single oral dose of azithromycin (30 mg/kg on Day 1).

For the 240 patients who were evaluable for clinical modified Intent-to-Treat (MITT) analysis, the clinical success rate (i.e., cure plus improvement) at Day 10 was 89% and for the 242 patients evaluable at Days 24 to 28, the clinical success rate (cure) was 85%.

Presumed Bacteriologic Eradication

Day 10

Days 24 to 28

S. pneumoniae

70/76 (92%)

67/76 (88%)

H. influenzae

30/42 (71%)

28/44 (64%)

M. catarrhalis

10/10 (100%)

10/10 (100%)

Overall

110/128 (86%)

105/130 (81%)

Azithromycin May Interact with Other Medications

Azithromycin can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects
  • Side effects from other drugs: Taking azithromycin with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:
    • Nelfinavir. Taking this drug with azithromycin may cause liver or hearing problems. Your doctor will monitor you for these side effects.
    • Warfarin. Taking this drug with azithromycin may increase bleeding. Your doctor will monitor you closely if you take these drugs together.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking. Azithromycin warnings

People with liver problems

In rare cases, this drug can cause liver problems. If you already have liver disease, it could make your liver function worse. Your doctor will check how well your liver is working during your treatment with this drug. If your liver isn’t working well, your doctor may have you stop taking this medication.

People with myasthenia gravis

This drug may make your symptoms worse.

People with a history of abnormal heart rhythms

Ask your doctor if this drug is safe for you. If you have a prolonged QT interval, taking this drug can increase your risk of having an arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythm) that may be fatal (cause death).

Pregnant women

Azithromycin is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Studies of the drug in pregnant animals have not shown a risk to the fetus.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in pregnant women to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This drug should be used only if clearly needed. 

Women who are breast-feeding

Azithromycin passes into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor if you breastfeed your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

For seniors

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.  

If you’re older than 65 years of age, you may have a higher risk of developing a heart rhythm problem called torsades de pointes while taking this drug.

For children

This drug hasn’t been studied in children younger than 6 months. It should not be used in children younger than 6 months.

When to call the doctor

Call your doctor if your infection isn’t improving after you’ve used this drug.

Allergies

Azithromycin can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • Skin reactions, including hives and the severe skin reactions Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis. Symptoms can include:
    • red, blistering skin
    • skin sloughing (shedding dead skin cells)
  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

(web3)