By | 2018-11-29

The increase in respiratory infections has multiplied the recipes for azithromycin, especially indicated for banal pictures linked to the upper respiratory tract, as found by family doctors from Malaga

It is called azithromycin, although at street level or of consultation- the common mortal refers to it as ‘the three-day antibiotic’ or the ‘three pills’. In recent months its ‘fame’ in health centers has grown like foam due to word of mouth. “We have been prescribing it for many years, but it is true that patients are becoming better known and they suggest it when we detect a mild bacterial process due to the convenience of finishing the treatment in just three days,” confesses one of the doctors of family consulted by this newspaper. Of course, it goes without saying that the last word has the doctor, who only prescribes said ‘azithromycin’ before certain tables in which it has been proven effective. It is available on We clarify doubts with this small guide in the form of questions and answers from the hand of practitioners.

What is azithromycin?

Azithromycin is a drug that works as an antibiotic and derived from the group of macrolide. It is generally used to fight infections of the ear and throat, but it can also have many other uses, for example to treat skin infections, nasal passages and other bacterial infections such as sexually transmitted diseases (gonorrhea or syphilis), pneumonia or pneumonia

How it acts

Azithromycin, like the rest of macrolides, acts by inhibiting the protein synthesis of bacteria. Its effect can be bacteriostatic (prevents the reproduction of the bacterium, which is aging and ends up dying) or bactericide (directly destroys the bacteria) depending on the bacterial species on which they act, size of the inoculum, the growth phase in which are the bacteria and the concentration reached by the antibiotic at the site of infection. Although it is administered for three days, the drug has post-antibiotic effect, that is, after taking the last tablet it stays a few days longer in the body, which takes to eliminate it completely.

When is it prescribed?

Mainly, to combat mild to moderate respiratory infections in the upper tract (nose or throat). “It is prescribed when acting on more banal microbes but it is not indicated for other more acute pathologies such as sinusitis that require more powerful drugs”, indicate the doctors while remembering that when it is a mere virus (cold or flu) , the use of antibiotics is not indicated. These are only prescribed when the picture is of bacterial origin. “What is happening this year, however, is that the flu-virus boxes-have come very strong and have been too long. So much so that in many cases they end up leading to bacterial complications and causing respiratory infections, “they underline.

How is it taken?

The treatment includes three pills, which should be ingested preferably at the same time. It should be taken on an empty stomach, that is, one hour before eating or two hours after having eaten. The reason is that the absorption of azithromycin can be reduced by the influence of food. The usual dose for an adult is 500mg / day for three consecutive days, that is, a total of 1.5g in 3 days. In children, 10mg / Kg of weight / day is usually prescribed in a single dose for three days. That is, a less than 10 kilos would take 100mg in each daily intake.